Child severely burned in Madison Co. explosion

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – An 11-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital Saturday morning after an explosion and fire in Madison County. It happened around 11:00 Saturday morning.

According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, crews responded to a residence in the 7000 block of South County Road 25 East near Markleville just before 11 a.m for a call of a fire and explosion.

The Madison County Sheriff said an 11-year-old boy was badly burned as he attempted to light a gas heater. The child was transported to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health by helicopter around noon.

Neighbors said they still can’t believe what happened.

“Things like this just don happen out here,” said neighbor, Roberta Viles.

The sheriff said the 11-year-old boy was severely burned when he tried to light a gas heater inside a kennel for the family’s pets.

“We all do our chores around here and I don’t know what happened or what led up to that, but I think he was just trying to keep his dog warm probably because of the cold weather,” said Viles.

Viles said she woke up Saturday morning to the sound of sirens.

“We never have sirens over here, not like this. They were just like race cars going by our house and so many sirens,” said Viles.

She didn’t hear the explosion, but said she can’t imagine what the family is going through.

“I’m devastated because he is just so good, and it is just incomprehensible for anything to happen to a child,” said Viles.

Other neighbors expressed the same feelings.

“I don’t think any parent can imagine going through your kids getting hurt, it is just tragic. Just unbelievable,” said Susan Drinkut, another neighbor.

The kennel is about 100 yards behind the home where the rest of the boy’s family was at the time of the explosion.

Neighbors say they have started a prayer chain and plan to keep it going until the boy comes home.

The boy was taken by air ambulance to Riley hospital around noon.

Right now it’s unclear what his condition is.

At this time, the fire and explosion is not being investigated as criminal.

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