Local plumber hurt when home exploded

Multiple area fire departments responded last week to an incident where a house exploded and a local plumber was seriously burned.

According to reports by the Southern Illinois Fire Incidents page, the Waterloo Fire Department was first called out around 10:40 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 for a house explosion and structure fire on Lemen Road, off of Kaskaskia Road near Burksville and south of Waterloo.

They also noted that the Red Bud Fire Department, Valmeyer Fire Department and Maeystown Rural Fire Protection District were all toned for mutual aid and their water tankers. As firemen arrived on scene, the home was fully engulfed.

The home belonged to Kenneth and Katrina Kloepper. Kenneth was home at the time of the explosion, but Katrina was not. Kenneth received only minor injuries from the explosion.

Brandon Kloepper commented on the Southern Illinois Fire Incident report, “It was my dad’s house. Everyone made it out alive, but the plumber who was trying to light the pilot on the water heater was taken to the hospital for burns on face and arms. They lost a few pets, but overall thankful no one was killed!”

The injured plumber was identified as Dan Krebel, owner of Krebel Plumbing in the rural Red Bud area. Various reports state that in the incident Krebel received burns to his face, arms and hands. He is currently in the burn unit at Mercy Medical Center in stable condition.

For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition.