JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — One person was killed in an explosion that destroyed a home in Byrnes Mill, Missouri Sunday evening.
Scott Barthelmass with the Eureka Fire Protection District said the High Ridge Fire Department was called to the 3700 block of Clearview Drive in Byrnes Mill for a report of an explosion. The spokesperson said the home was basically leveled when crews arrived on the scene.
Barthelmass said a man was killed and a woman was sent to the hospital. He said he did not know the condition of the woman at this time. The man has been identified 57-year-old James Ingoldsby.
"Jim was a thoughtful and caring man, a devoted husband and father, and doting "parent" of two dogs, a statement from the family said. "He will be deeply missed by all who knew him."
The statement also said his wife Brenda was injured in the blast, but only suffered scrapes and bruises. She was released from the hospital late Sunday night.
“It was scary,” a neighbor told 5 On Your Side. “I never in my life ever been through anything like that.”
Photos from the scene showed flames coming out of a pile of debris where the house once stood. In a video shared by a viewer, heavy black smoke can be seen billowing out from the neighborhood.
One neighbor said she was doing laundry when she heard a big boom.
“Stuff rattled on the shelves and stuff fell off my shelves and everybody ran outside. There was insulation flying everywhere,” she recalled. The woman said neighbors rushed to what was left of the home to help.
“It was bad,” she described.
The High Ridge Fire Marshall, Jefferson County Fire Investigation Team and Missouri Fire Marshall are all on the scene investigating. A cause of the fire has not been determined, but a gas leak is a possibility.
Police said other houses were hit by debris from the explosion, but no one else was hurt.
The full statement from the family is as follows:
"Our family would like to thank all the emergency personnel and first responders that worked the scene. We would also like to thank Tom Hayes for pulling Brenda from the rubble just moments after the explosion. Without his quick and heroic actions she wouldn't be here today.
Brenda sustained multiple lacerations and bruises from the blast but no major injuries. She was released from the hospital late last night. She is in complete disbelief and deeply saddened by the loss of her home and one of the family dogs and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of her husband Jim. Jim was a thoughtful and caring man, a devoted husband and father, and doting "parent" of two dogs. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him."