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Sullivan House Explosion

Pictured is the scene of a fatal house explosion that occurred Friday night northeast of Sullivan, along County Road 1700N west of Jonathan Creek Road.

SULLIVAN — One man died and a woman was injured in a house explosion that occurred Friday night northeast of Sullivan, along County Road 1700N west of Jonathan Creek Road.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's office is investigating.

Moultrie County Coroner Lynn Reed said Jared L. Schrock, 20, who lived in the home with his Amish family, was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:10 a.m. Saturday. Preliminary indications are the cause of death was blunt force trauma from the explosion, but smoke inhalation was likely a factor, Reed said.

Sullivan Fire Department Chief Mike Piper said Saturday morning that the department received a call at 9:52 p.m. Friday to 1416 County Road 1700N in Moultrie County for a house explosion and two people reported missing.

"It was fully engulfed with flames and it was evident there had been a very large explosion," Piper said.

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The Sullivan Fire Department reported that firefighters found a woman outside the structure under debris shortly after they arrived at the scene. She was taken by ambulance to a local trauma center. They later found Jared Schrock, deceased, under debris.

Authorities are not certain what the cause of the explosion was but suspect it might have been propane, Piper said. The state fire marshal's office is investigating and will make the final determination, Piper said.

Sullivan firefighters were assisted by squads from Arthur, Bethany and Lovington with manpower, pumpers and tankers. The MABAS Division 26 technical rescue team, based in Charleston, was called to the scene to assist in the search for and recovery of the deceased victim. Emergency responders cleared the scene at 4 a.m. Saturday.

The explosion leveled the house. The Sullivan Fire Department reported that the blast scattered debris as far as 200 feet from the residence. Piper said the fire did not spread to any other structures near the house.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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