020519_con_explosion

A cabin exploded Saturday between Chetek and Cameron. People a mile away said they felt the blast. About 20 firefighters responded to the scene. The cause of the fire hasn’t yet been determined.

An unoccupied cabin between Cameron and Chetek exploded Saturday, with the blast heard and felt at least a mile away.

No one was injured.

Dan “Bimbo” Gifford, firefighter with the Cameron Fire Department, said the cabin was owned by a family who lives in Illinois.

“No one was there, but it was heated,” Gifford said.

The cabin, which is a total loss, was located in the 2300 block of 10th Avenue, on the west side of Prairie Lake. Gifford said he didn’t know the names of the owners, but knows that they were contacted.

Gifford said he had family members who were on the lake that day, a mile from the explosion.

“They said they could feel the concussion in your chest,” he said.

Neighbors heard the explosion, and when they stepped outside to investigate what happened, the house was fully engulfed.

The blast sent debris in all directions, he said. A rocking chair was found 40 feet away, and an ornamental plate was 50 feet away.

“It basically blew the walls out, then it started on fire,” Gifford said. “We had to dig into the rubble quite a bit.”

Gifford said his department hasn’t determined a cause for the fire.

About 20 firefighters from the Cameron and Chetek fire departments were on the scene. Gifford said they stayed at the scene roughly two hours while extinguishing the blaze.

Last Wednesday, the Cameron Fire Department put out a house fire in -51 degree wind chill. Gifford said the firefighters appreciated having moderate temperatures of about 30 above while putting out this fire.

“It was one of those that turned out good. It was just property damage,” he said.

A similar cabin explosion occurred in December 2016 in the Chippewa County town of Sampson, northeast of New Auburn, along Long Lake. That fire was caused by natural gas leak from a furnace. That cabin was in the process of being constructed on the site of one that had recently been razed.