Family returns from vacation after home explodes

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EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, Wisc. (WEAU) - Three days after an explosion destroyed their house, the Pederson family returned home.

After a day on the beach while vacationing in Georgia, Jennifer and Brian Pederson said they knew something was wrong after seeing several missed calls on their cell phones.

"We started dialing numbers back and realized what had happened, and we never expected that it was our house,” Jennifer Pederson said. “Once people started sending us pictures, that's when it really hit us."

More than 1,200 miles away, their home exploded shortly after noon Sunday on Partridge Road near Fall Creek. Debris flew into neighboring homes but no one was hurt. Firefighters responded, but found no flames.

The family of five left Monday, and returned Wednesday night. Investigators have yet to find a cause, something the family said is important to know.

“It's nice to put closure, but at the same time, it would be good to know going forward for our next home, and anybody really what happened, so they don't experience this again,” Pederson said.

Now staying in a hotel, the Pedersons plan on finding a temporary home, before rebuilding on the same land.

“We're fairly certain we'll just build right back. The neighbors have been wonderful, and I don't want to move,” she said.

Jennifer said she keeps 'What ifs' out of her mind, but is thankful everyone was safe.

“Now, really I'm inconvenienced for about a year, but really it could have been so much worse.”

“I'm so relieved no one was hurt. That was our first concern was about the neighbors and making sure that everybody was safe. Knowing that they were made it so much easier for us. Yes, it's not the greatest site to look at right now, but that can all be replaced and it can be rebuilt,” she said.

Jennifer Pederson said some items like a dresser built for her daughter and other home-made crafts were lost, but was happy to find scrapbooks saved from the rubble.

To help out the family there are multiple places taking donations. Citizens State Bank on North Hillcrest Parkway in Altoona and all R.C.U. locations are taking monetary donations to help the family.

Little Star Daycare in Altoona is taking donations for the children: a seven-year-old girl and twin boys who are five.

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