RAPATEE, Ill. — A house explosion in Rapatee claimed the lives of two individuals just before 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Emergency responders were called to Illinois 97 and North Street for the report. The Fairview Fire Department responded to the scene and found a single family residence had exploded and scattered debris in the roadway, power lines, and nearby homes.
Area fire departments began to conduct search and rescue operations and extinguish the fire. The house was supplied by a propane tank in the yard and there are no natural gas lines in the area.
“The church here in town, everyone stayed after,” Fairview Fire Chief Mark Hanlin said on Sunday night. “Other community members and family members have been arriving and helping support the family and the neighborhood.”
The Fairview Cafe on Monday said it will be a dropsite for people to donate gift cards, cash, grocery cards and other gits for the impacted family. It is open 5 a.m.-2 p.m.
Ameren Illinois crews were on the scene working to restore power to area homes. Eight additional structures sustained damage with one residence receiving significant damage.
Electrical power repairs and clearing of the highway were performed after the investigation of the scene and removal of the victims was conducted. Last units cleared area following the reopening of Ill. Rt. 97 at approximately 7 p.m. with the scene location in Knox County. 9-1-1 calls were received by both Knox and Fulton County.
Central Illinois Fire Society initially reported that there was an explosion in Fulton County. It also said two Life Flights were seen going to the area.