Authorities continue to investigate the cause of an explosion and fire over the weekend in southeast Iowa. The blast destroyed a home in rural Ainsworth – about 30 miles south of Iowa City. It happened around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. No one was inside the home at the time.
The owner is out of town. Neighbors, like April Stumpf, say the blast rattled homes up to 15 miles away.
“We had a baby sitter that night and he said the windows were just beating in, and we live three or four miles north of (the home),” Stumpf said. “It’s a total loss. Normally, when you hear fire and explosion, you don’t really think that, but there’s nothing left. It’s a little shocking.”
Emergency crews spent hours at the scene dousing flames that could be seen from several miles away. Ken and Eddi Marlow live just down the road from the destroyed home. “She was in the bedroom and I was in the front of the house,” Ken explained.
“All of a sudden, there was a large boom.” Eddi said she was shocked with what she saw through the bedroom window. “There seemed to be a fireball that just lit up the backyard,” Eddi said. A few trees behind the Marlow’s home had caught fire. Another neighbor had damage to their roof from debris.
Insulation, pieces of roof and other debris littered trees several miles away. Neighbors say they believe if it hadn’t rained Saturday night, the fire could have spread to homes nearby and into the wooded areas behind their block.
By Jillian Petrus, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids