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August 30, 2007

Onawa man hospitalized after home explodes

By Travis Coleman
Journal Staff Writer

An 80-year-old Onawa, Iowa, man was hospitalized after a rural Onawa home exploded Tuesday afternoon.

The explosion happened around 12:30 p.m., in the home’s basement, where Earl Thelander was venting fumes from a propane line that had been cut in an alleged burglary earlier Tuesday, the Monona County Sheriff’s Office reported today. Thelander was then taken from the home at 20877 Gum Ave., by private vehicle to Burgess Health Center in Onawa with burns.

Authorities believe the explosion is connected to the cut propane line on a furnace in the basement. The sheriff’s office had been called to the home Tuesday morning for the burglary and vandalism but when deputies arrived, the alleged burglar was gone. No one has been arrested and there are no suspects, said Eric Martin, sheriff’s office dispatcher.

It wasn’t known if the home was Thelander’s, Martin said.

A relative in Onawa, Sharon Thelander, said she just found out about the explosion and didn’t know how Earl was doing.

The home sustained considerable structural damage, the sheriff’s office reported.

© Copyright 2007, Sioux City Journal

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