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Woodhaven explosion injures security guard, destroys trailer

Posted: Tuesday, Oct 15th, 2013

SUBLETTE – An explosion on Oct. 13 at Woodhaven Lakes seriously injured a public safety employee, demolished one trailer and damaged a second trailer. Amboy Fire Department Chief Jeff Bryant said Amboy responded at 5:50 p.m. to a call of a trailer explosion. Upon arrival, one trailer was fully engulfed, a nearby trailer sustained some damage and an LP tank was burning.

Bryant said the Woodhaven Lakes employee was responding to reports that there was a smell of gas in the area. The employee was treated on the scene by Sublette and Mendota departments and then transported to Mendota Community Hospital. Bryant said the individual was later transferred to the Loyola Hospital Burn Center in Maywood.

Bryant said the explosion was heard for a long distance. “Quite a few people at Woodhaven heard it and we had reports that people on I-39 saw a cloud of smoke from the explosion,” he noted. “We didn’t see that in Amboy but we could tell there was a structure involved from the smoke after the explosion.”

Lee County Sheriff John Varga said his department also responded on Sunday. “We had a call of a possible gas leak. The Woodhaven security officer was checking reports of a gas smell and as he walked away, the explosion occurred,” Varga said.

The Amboy Fire Department remained on fire watch for other LP tanks at the scene until 3 a.m. Assisting with non-related calls during the incident were the Dixon City Fire Department, Advance Ambulance and the Franklin Grove Fire Department.

On Tuesday, Bryant said the cause of the explosion and fire was still undetermined and remained under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshal.

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