TISKILWA — Bureau County authorities believe a faulty stove valve may be to blame for a gas explosion that turned into a structure fire on Plow Creek Drive Friday morning.
According to a Bureau County Sheriff’s report, the owner of the home, Randall A. Hermanson, 65, of 19197 Plow Creek Drive, had turned off the gas to his home the night prior before fogging for bugs, which he told police was suggested on the instruction label of the bug-fogging cans.
The following morning, Hermanson returned to the residence, turned on the gas and was relighting the stove’s pilot light on the main floor when an explosion occurred above him, sending fire and debris outward.
Hermanson’s residence was a dual occupancy home, and it is believed a faulty stove valve in the second story residence is what caused the explosion.
Hermanson and his dog were the only occupants in the home at the time of the explosion. Hermanson was able to get himself and his dog out of the house through a window at the front of the residence.
Hermanson was the one to call 911 to report the fire. He told police he believed it was one of the appliances in the upstairs that caused the explosion.
Hermanson was transported to Perry Memorial Hospital by Tiskilwa Ambulance where he was treated for first- and second-degree burns. His dog was taken to Bureau Valley Animal Care Clinic in Princeton for burn treatment.
Tiskilwa Fire was called to the scene just before 9 a.m. When they arrived, the home was fully engulfed in flames. Bureau and Princeton fire departments were called for mutual aid.
Nicor Gas was called to shut off the gas to the home. The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office was also called to investigate the scene.