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Two people hospitalized after the explosion and fire at Hallsville duplex

Mitchell Kaminski/KMIZ
Smoke clouded Emmies Villas in Hallsville on Wednesday night after a duplex caught fire.
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Damage is seen on a duplex as a fire burns at the Hallsville building on Jan. 17, 2024
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Mitchell Kaminski/KMIZ
Several first responders arrived to a duplex fire Wednesday night in Hallsville at Emmies Villas.


The Boone County Fire Protection District continued to investigate Thursday morning after an explosion and fire at a Hallsville duplex on Wednesday.

Fire crews told ABC 17 News crews on scene Thursday the home is at risk of collapsing due to extensive damage. An excavator was used to knock down burnt portions of the home.

According to the a fire marshal, two dogs from the home remain missing.

Boone County Fire crews began responding to a house fire at 10:12 p.m. Wednesday night in the 6300 block of East Tayler Court in Hallsville at Emmie's Villas, according to a press release.

According to Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Chuck Leake, two adults were transported to University Hospital with “serious injuries.” 

“There were four people in the house at the time,” Leake said. “The two adults received injuries the two others were uninjured and are staying in a safe location with family right now.” 

Multiple witnesses also told ABC 17 News that they heard a loud "boom" and saw flames going through the roof of the duplex. An ABC 17 News reporter could see a "giant" hole in the roof and also stated the first level of the building was severely damaged when they arrived on the scene. 

Tryphena and her family were inside one of the neighboring duplexes when she heard a loud bang coming from outside just after 10 pm. 

“I just kind of sat there and heard them [neighbors] screaming trying to get everybody out, looked out the window and saw him carrying his daughter out and the girls trying to get out of the house and then he went back in and I assume for the dog, I don’t know why else he would have gone back in and when he went back in the second time it exploded and it kind of blew him back out the door,” Tryphena said. 

She then woke up her younger boys and told them to get out of the house. 

“The fire hadn’t started yet at that point by the time we got out the whole side of the house was engulfed in flames,” Typhena said.  

Another witness also told ABC 17 News that they saw a man run back into the house to try and grab a dog before an explosion near the garage blew him back in front of the property. 

“We were not able to find a dog,” Leake told ABC 17 News. 

Fire units started arriving around 10:20 p.m. and crews saw flames upon arrival, according to Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Gale Blomenkamp.

A large amount of emergency response vehicles were in the area which included, three engines, two tankers, one squad, one air truck, one support truck, 30 firefighters from across Boone County, and three ambulances from Boone Health EMS.

Leake added that officials believe there was an explosion that happened inside of the duplex but they are unsure what what caused it. The property owner and and State Fire Marshall’s Office were called in to investigate. 

“We do know there is massive damage from not only fire but what appears to be an explosion inside that residence,” Leake explained. 

Typhena and her family sat in a van across the street for nearly two hours and as fighter fighters worked to control the fire. She told ABC 17 News that her family was unable to go back inside because the power and heat inside her duplex went out shortly after the explosion. 

“Amren said it would be about 1:45 am before it comes back on,” Typhena said.  

Residents of the neighboring duplex also had to be evacuated. 

“There was some damage to the neighboring duplex, however, we were able to go in and salvage a lot,” Leake said. “The things that were important to them inside the structure, we managed to get that out, and the rest of it we got covered up to try and protect that property.”

Article Topic Follows: Boone

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.

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