Sun Prairie residents allowed to return home - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sun Prairie residents allowed to return home


By Lysee Mitri - email | Twitter | Facebook

SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- Sun Prairie residents go home one day after an explosion leveled their neighbors' house. Now, the work begins to clean up after the deadly blast.     

"You can see right here is where the wall used to be with the stud, and now we're a good four inches back," said Sun Prairie resident Jason Rotzenberg.

Jason Rotzenberg and his family returned home today, getting a close look at the damage for the first time.

"Here's the window that just popped out," he said pointing to a window in the basement that shot out of the wall during the explosion. The glass window did not even shatter.

He lives two houses down from where the explosion happened early yesterday morning.

"In the grand scheme of things, we're pretty lucky to be in the house right now," Rotzenberg said. "I don't know if our neighbor next door is going to get that opportunity."

Police let all residents back in their homes today except for those who live in the two homes right next to the explosion.

"We Energies have crews on scene that will assist with any appliances that may have to be re-ignited in their homes," Sun Prairie Police PIO Rem Brandt said.

We Energies crews did a quick safety inspection before letting people back in.

Police still do not know what caused the explosion.

Several neighbors heard a furnace was installed in the house last week.

"We've heard that that's being said and that's one of the things we're checking into," Brandt said.

Meanwhile, residents are trying to call their insurance companies to sort out the mess.

Some say it has not been easy.

"We're being told basically to handle it on our own and we don't want to create any problems," said Sue Smith, a Sun Prairie resident. "All we want are some answers."

Smith says her insurance company told her pay the cleanup bills and keep the receipts until it's clear who is to blame.

"[The insurance company] said it could take weeks months or even years to get this settled," Smith said.

She says she is frustrated, but the event has brought people in the neighborhood together.

"Neighbors are being neighbors and that's what it's all about," she said.  

WKOW also talked to residents who used to live in the home that exploded.  Bill and Sharon Schultz had the home built for them 40 years ago.

They live in DeForest now, but came back to the neighborhood to see what happened to the home where they raised their children.

"We were shocked," Sharon said about seeing what was left of the house. "We had a lot of good memories there."

She says she came to take a picture of what is no longer there.

Police are telling Sun Prairie residents to call their insurance companies or the city building inspector if they still have questions.

Andrew Manley, 26, died in the explosion.

The two who were injured are still hospitalized at UW Health.

A hospital spokesperson says Lindsey Stephany is in good condition and Steven Slack is in fair condition.


SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- Many residents are now being allowed back in their homes following a home explosion in a Sun Prairie neighborhood, according Sun Prairie Police Department's public information officer. Police say residents in all but two homes are now back in their houses.

We Energies is there to inspect the ten homes which have been on limited access since Monday's explosion.

Some residents near the explosion, on Pearl Lane, Garnet Drive, Coral Drive, and Beech Street, were only allowed in their homes Monday to get essentials, and were escorted by firefighters while crews worked on the problem of natural gas in the area.

A home in the 1100 block of Coral Drive blew up around 3:30 a.m. Police say it was caused by natural gas. One person was killed in the explosion and two others were injured.

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