Thursday August 28, 2003
Deer Park House Explosion on Stuntz/Warner Farm
Compiled from local and Twin Cities Media Reports
August 28th, at 8:37 PM was a very explosive time for Raymond Sislo and Linda Thoe. They were reportedly watching T.V. upstairs when leaking gas ignited, blowing the house up. After the explosion, Raymond Sislo ended up on the roof having been blown through it or on it somehow, and Linda Thoe was in the rubble which was starting to burn. Ray somehow found the strength to pull her out. Seven of their 9 dogs also survived. The occupants were taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. (The New Richmond News reported they were taken to Holy Family Hospital).
The house is the former residence of the Bill Stuntz family, also
known as the Phil Warner farm about a mile southwest of the village.
Bill Fouks, who lives on the former Hemauer farm about a mile away said he first thought that Ascheman's, professional handlers of fireworks, had blown up some inventory. Bruce Fall of Niceli Engineering, Incorporated, Deer Park, who also lives over a mile away thought the same thing at first, fireworks from Ascheman's. Bruce compared the explosion to a concussion from an M80 mortar artillery shell that shook his truck and walls of their household. Others in the area never knew anything about the catastrophe until late the next day. The incident was carried on Twin Cities radio and television.
The scene looked like a tornado had just raked the area. One of Deer Park's First Responders was nearby and reported the emergency. The Deer Park Fire Department rushed to the scene.
Metal siding ended up in a tree and insulation from the house was sprayed in a 150 foot radius.
An area scene changed in seconds.
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Blast levels two Deer Park homes
By Bob Zientara, Managing Editor New Richmond News
Photo by Mike Demulling
A Thursday night explosion and resulting fire leveled two homes in rural Deer Park, injured an unidentified woman who was in one of the buildings and killed four dogs, according to the Deer Park Fire Department. The homes belong to Raymond Sislo and Linda Thoe, who live at 2201 200th St., less than half a mile west of the Deer Park village limits.
Thoe was transported to Holy Family Hospital after the blast, and was listed Friday in fair condition. Sislo did not require hospitalization.
The blast, believed related to LP gas, was so severe that it shook buildings and rattled windows up to two miles away, according to Deer Park Fire Chief Duane Krueger. He said that both Sisloe and Thoe were in the home when the incident happened.
The house was totally demolished and burning at the time we arrived, said Krueger Friday. We found that there were actually two houses, built side-by-side. The couple was living in an older home and building a new one alongside, he said.
Deer Park Fire, Deer Park First Responders and New Richmond Area Ambulance
were called after one of the Deer Park first responders heard the explosion,
went to investigate and summoned help. After the call came, we sent six
vehicles and 20 fire fighters, and about 10 first responders, Krueger
added. We put had the fire under control in less than half an hour, but
we spent two to three hours making sure everything was out. Fire
fighters learned that there were either nine or 10 dogs on the
premises at the time of the explosion, and were able to save six of the
animals, according to Krueger. The cause of the fire is being tentatively
listed as a gas leak, pending possible further investigation.
THE SUN (Osceola):
A gas explosion ripped a pair of rural Deer Park homes apart last Thursday night, seriously injuring a couple and laying waste to both the two-story older farm home they were living in and the new home under construction adjacent to the farm home. The property belonged to Raymond Sislo and Linda Thoe, both 43, both of whom were literally blown from their bedroom on the second-floor about 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 28. The explosion likely originated in the basement of the older home at 2201 200th Street in the Town of Deer Park just over the St. Croix County line. Deer Park firefighters were on the scene a short time later, and many of them stayed until the early morning hours, searching through the rubble with a bulldozer, to minimize the risk of a fire. Linda Thoe sustained several broken bones, was hospitalized and has been released.