NAMES RELEASED: 1 dead, 1 injured in Tama Co. blast - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

NAMES RELEASED: 1 dead, 1 injured in Tama Co. blast

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TAMA COUNTY (KWWL) - Authorities have released the names of a woman who was killed and a man burned after a house exploded in rural Tama County on Thursday morning.

Mary Louise Appelgate, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene of the explosion. Her body was recovered Thursday afternoon.

Appelgate owned the house, at 1207 230th St., rural Gladbrook, with her husband, Bruce Appelgate. Bruce was not home at the time of the explosion.

Daniel David Dewitt, 29, of Gladbrook, was transported to the University of Iowa Burn Unit. The extent of his injuries is not known.

Authorities had previously said Dewitt had been repairing Appelgate's furnace when the explosion happened, but the cause of the explosion is still being investigated.



Two people were inside a rural Tama County home when it exploded just after 9 a.m. Thursday, according to new information from police.

One person who resided at the Gladbrook home and one "heating and cooling repair person" were inside at 9:10 a.m. when it exploded, according to a release at 4 p.m. sent from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

The body of an adult female was pronounced dead at the scene. An adult male was transported to the University of Iowa Burn Unit.

Officials are not releasing either name pending notification of family.

The cause of the explosion is currently being investigated by the Iowa State Fire Marshall Division and the Gladbrook and Garwin fire departments.

Also assisting at the scene were the Tama County Sheriff's Department, Green Mountain Fire, Toledo Fire, Gladbrook Ambulance and Toledo Ambulance.

The single-story house, located at 1207 230th St., in rural Gladbrook, was completely destroyed in the explosion and ensuing fire.



A body has been found at the site of a rural Tama County home explosion Thursday afternoon.

Emergency officials declined to say where the body was found or any identification of the body.

An autopsy will be conducted on the remains, officials said.

"It was pretty devastating to experience something like that," said Dennis Kucera, Tama County Sheriff. "We're part of the services that respond. It's unbelievable."



One person was taken to the hospital and emergency crews from around Tama County are on the scene after a house explosion near Garwin.

Crews were called to 1207 230th St. in rural Tama County just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The Gladbrook Fire Chief said a technician was in the home working on the furnace when the explosion happened.

One person has been taken to a Marshalltown hospital, but it was unclear if it was the technician or someone else from inside the home.

Crews are still trying to determine if anyone else was inside the house.

Firefighters were working on putting out any hot spots as of Thursday morning. They were having difficulty because they need to keep trucking in water.

The Gladbrook, Garwin and Toledo fire departments were on scene along with the Tama County Sheriff's Office.

The home is owned by Bruce R. and Mary L. Appelgate, according to the Tama County Assessor's website. The address is in Gladbrook.

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