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UPDATE: Man in critical condition after explosion at Cass County bible camp

Propane fire.jpg

MONDAY UPDATE: A man is recovering in a burn unit after a propane tank exploded at a Cass County bible camp.

Facilities manager David Stiles was working in the basement of one of the cabins at Blair Lake Bible Camp. That's when the propane tank ignited the explosion.

An overnight Facebook post from the camp says Stiles has burns over most of his body and is in critical condition.

Luckily, no kids had arrived for camp yet when the explosion happened.

Neighbors were in disbelief after hearing about the incident.

“It's very, very sad,” said Ellie Sparrow. “The bible camp has always been a good neighbor and I know they have done a lot of good things for the community and other communities.”

The victim had to be airlifted to the hospital.

Drew Gardner, Bair Lake Bible Camp executive director, says there are additional accommodations on grounds for campers.

Camp will continue as normal this week and in the remaining weeks of the camping season.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED SUNDAY: A disaster hit a Cass County bible camp earlier today when a propane tank exploded.

One staff member was injured but the camp is counting its blessings that no campers were there at the time.

The facilities manager was working in the basement of one of the cabins.

A local official said a propane tank was leaking there and it ignited the explosion.

Luckily, no kids had arrived for camp yet as first responders rushed to the scene.

Smoke could be seen rising from the Bair Lake Bible Camp on Prang Street near Jones.

Neighbors also saw a medical helicopter lift off. The camp's Facilities Manager David Stiles was on board as a patient. He was the only person injured in the explosion and fire.

Neighbors around the area heard the emergency vehicles arrive on scene but did not know what had happened.

“We didn't see anything except ambulances go by. Later there was a sound of a helicopter flying over but no rushing of traffic or anything like that,” Said Ellie Sparrow, a neighbor of Bair Lake Bible Camp.

Ellie Sparrow has lived in the neighborhood for the past 27 years.

She was in disbelief when she learned about the explosion.

“It's very very sad. The bible camp has always been a good neighbor and I know they have done a lot of good things for the community and other communities,” said Sparrow.

Others thought the camp was holding a special event involving emergency vehicles for the campers.

“We camp over there at the campground next door on the lake and we just got up for our coffee this morning and saw a helicopter come in and at first we didn’t think anything of it. We thought they were having something special for the kids,” said Jeff Swan, a local camper.

WSBT 22’s Lauren Becker was at Bair Lake Bible Camp when parents arrived to drop their kids off at camp.

One dad had no idea the explosion had even occurred.

The Bair Lake Bible Camp executive director Drew Gardner released a statement saying, "Thankfully we are blessed with additional accommodations on grounds and are able to accommodate all of our campers this week and in the remaining weeks of the camping season."

Gardner said this was an isolated incident that poses no future safety risk for any of the campers or staff.

We have tried to get an updated condition report on the camp facilities manager who was rushed to the hospital and so far have been given no word on his status.

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