Lightning, gas responsible for home explosion

Dick Bowman sent WANE pictures of the aftermath of an explosion he said he felt four miles away.
Dick Bowman sent WANE pictures of the aftermath of an explosion he said he felt four miles away.

FREMONT, Ind. (WANE) – An explosion that destroyed a home at Snow Lake on Thursday was caused by lightning, according to Fremont Fire Chief Eric Hufnagle.

PHOTOS | Explosion levels home

Hufnagle said investigators found burn holes where the lightning exited a gas line in the crawlspace. Investigators believe the crawlspace filled with gas after the lightning strike and an appliance kicked on, sparking the explosion that leveled the Steuben County home. Investigators are not sure which appliance caused the explosion.

Danielle Young, who lived there, was not home at the time of the explosion. A dog, Boomer, was in the home in a crate and survived with minor injuries despite being thrown out of the home in the explosion.

Dave Ellis, owner of the home and of the business next door, Dave’s Lake Shack, heard the explosion from his business and rushed over to make sure Young wasn’t there and rescued Boomer from the rubble.

“I wasn’t really expecting to find anything,” he told NewsChannel 15 on Thursday.  “Then I saw movement on the back corner.  I reached in between the slats on the deck fence, and pulled the dog out.”

While crews could not pinpoint a cause the day of the explosion, they had a good idea that may have been gas related.

“The gas lines were detached from the house, and they were broken right at the base of the residence,” Todd Johnson, a spokesperson with the Fremont Fire Department told NewsChannel 15 the day of the explosion.

Dick Bowman, who sent WANE several photos of the explosion’s aftermath, said he felt the explosion from his home, four miles away. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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