A home in eastern Iowa exploded early this morning and the lone resident crawled from the wreckage to a lawn mower which he drove to a phone for help. Authorities say 73-year-old Dave Stevens is being treated at University Hospitals in Iowa City after his house near Marengo blew up.
Iowa County Sheriff Nick Roggentien says there was a propane gas build-up in Stevens’ home that he wasn’t aware of and when he turned off a light switch, it triggered the explosion. The sheriff says there’s not much left of the residence. Roggentien says about half of the house was blown away from the rest of the structure. The other half is still standing “but it’s bowed out at the base, the windows are gone, it’s destroyed.”
Reggentien says Stevens said the explosion happened around 1:20 A-M but he wasn’t able to call for help for nearly 45 minutes. Initially, Stevens was trapped in the demolished home and his phone didn’t work. Roggentien says “Mr. Stevens is a tough old guy. I’m familiar with him. What he did, he crawled out of the wreckage and made his way to a lawnmower and was able to drive himself to an outbuilding where he had a telephone.”
Stevens’ condition hasn’t been released. The state Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the blast.