‘I’m still shaking from it’: Neighbors react to deadly home explosion in rural Walworth County

House explosion
Posted at 4:38 PM, Jul 02, 2024

TOWN OF LAFAYETTE, Wisc. — A man has died after a house explosion Tuesday afternoon in the Town of Lafayette, according to the Walworth County Sheriff's Office (WCSO.)

The explosion happened at a residence located on Kulow Road in the Town of Lafayette at around 2:18 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2. That’s a few miles west of Alpine Valley between East Troy and Elkhorn.

The only occupant of the structure was Leland R. Holden, 68, who was found in the rubble in the basement and was calling for help. It took them over a half hour to extricate him to safety. He was taken to a local trauma center where he later died, according to WCSO.

house explosion in rural Walworth county

VIDEO: Neighbors react to home explosion in rural Walworth County

Neighbors react to home explosion in rural Walworth County

The Walworth County Communications Center received numerous calls of a structure fire and reports of an explosion at a residence.

“I’m still shaking from it,” said Everett Bladow, who lives down the street. “I’m not settled down from it.”

Everett Bladow
Everett Bladow was shaken by the house explosion in rural Walworth County.

Walworth County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Elkhorn Fire Department were dispatched.

house explosion

The explosion caught neighbors completely off guard.

“I’ve heard thunder and lightning strikes but nothing like this,” said Diane Riese, who lives next door. “It just shook the whole house.“

Bladow was inside his home when he was shaken by the loud boom. When he went to investigate, he found debris around his yard.

“I came out,” said Bladow. “There was insulation flying around like it was snow.“

house explosion

Others on scene told TMJ4 they felt the blast nine miles away.

Elkhorn Area Fire Department Chief Trent Eichmann said that debris blasted 300 feet around the home.

Upon the arrival of Sheriff’s Deputies, they reported a small fire and confirmed an explosion had occurred at the residence.

VIDEO: House explosion in the Town of Lafayette

House explosion in the Town of Lafayette, explosion felt miles away

An investigation continues into what caused the explosion.

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