FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A Fort Wayne man was hospitalized over the weekend in a burn unit after his home exploded.
UPDATE: A couple of his friends have started a charity fund in his name . Their goal is to raise $3,000 in three months. All donations will be given to his parents to pay for medical expenses.
When firefighters arrived on scene in the 1700 block of Bayer Avenue, they found the house in flames and completely collapsed.
Caleb Hofmann, 21, was listed in critical condition Sunday at Fort Wayne Saint Joseph Hospital. One of the other two residents of the home, China White, 21, said Hoffman suffered burns across 70 percent of his body.
Fort Wayne Fire Chief Amy Biggs said multiple calls came in around noon Saturday with people reporting a house had exploded.
The first two videos were submitted by Asnley Donaldson to NewsChannel 15 with Report!t
Other homes and cars in the area were also affected. Neighbors said they heard, and felt, the explosion from blocks away.
"There's a huge boom," said David Robinson. He saw the fire. "The floors shook. It woke me up. I got out of bed. It was nuts, it felt like an earthquake almost."
Tom Cook heard the explosion inside his home. "I was watching TV and all of a sudden I heard a great big old bang!" said Cook.
China White said she had smelled a foul odor for a few days. On Saturday, she thought the smell was stronger.
"My first instinct, I think it was gas," White said. "I went downstairs, but nothing was on, so I just thought it can't be that, it is not on. The smell was so strong, I had to suffocate myself under my blankets and stuff. I was going to light a candle because it was awful, thank God I didn't."
White was at work when she found out what happened to her roommate.
"I got a call saying my roommate lit a match and, the house exploded," said White. "My neighbor, Jason, pulled him out of the rubble. I think my roommate is going to be okay, but he has burns on 70 percent of his body from head to toe."
White said her other roommate and herself have lined up another place to stay.
The fire remains under investigation. Biggs said it could take a while to determine the cause of the fire.
"This is going to be a long process," she said. "We're looking at all those different areas where the materials landed. We'll be working with our investigator to get a cause and origin and relationship to the incident."
NIPSCO, AEP and Neighborhood Code were called in to assist firefighters.
NIPSCO spokesman Larry Graham said utility workers had found no gas leaks or signs of gas in the area surrounding the house.
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Indiana residents receiving food stamps will begin receiving their monthly benefits on new dates under a state law approved earlier this year.
An Indiana teenager honored for helping save two children from icy waters in 2010 has died in a weekend shooting.
Police have identified a person of interest in Sunday’s stabbing outside of a home on Bluebird Court, off of St. Joe Road.
Police are looking for a white man who is 6'0" to 6'2" with a thin build they say robbed a CVS in November. He may have been driving a gray or dark green Ford SUV.
Police from several agencies have responded to multiple crashes overnight due to slick roads from a wintry mix that moved through the area late Sunday and early Monday morning.
A rural Angola man faces six felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman.
A local family wants help in making sure their loved one's murderer stays in prison.
Police said a man barricaded himself inside of a home on Genessee Avenue early Sunday morning for more than two hours after threatening to commit suicide.
Detectives believe a three-year-old boy may have shot himself at a home in Indianapolis Saturday night. Police said the shooting appears to have been accidental.
There will be several holiday-themed events this weekend in the Fort Wayne area, including Christmas displays, children’s parties, visits from Santa Claus, and more.
The 122nd Fighter Wing hosted the annual Airman of the Year Awards on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the achievements of members of the 122nd.
Saturday marked the 72nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Fort Wayne area veterans and their families met for a service at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to remember those who lost their lives back on December 7, 1941.
A doctor who performs abortions in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend has been asked to appear before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.
Each year, students at Taylor University attend a men's basketball game and are completely silent until the Trojans score their 10th point of the game. The game is known as "Silent Night."
Governor Mike Pence is directing flags at Indiana state facilities be flown at half-staff on Saturday, Dec. 7 in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.