Tip Line: 574-344-5557 | news57@abc57.com

Elkhart home explodes, now homeowners are grateful to be alive

An explosion sends glass and pieces of one man’s home flying everywhere. On Tuesday, the Elkhart Fire Department responded to a home with pieces literally missing.

Luckily Al Barnhart and his wife, both homeowners, weren’t inside.

Barnhart tells ABC57 he had just left to run some errands. Five minutes later, he received a phone call that his home had exploded.

His first thought wasn’t necessarily the damage done to the home. “That thought runs through your mind, but my first thought was we have two pets,” says Barnhart. “And I just left them on the steps when I left the house, so that was my initial concern.”

Tuesday morning Barnhart was going about his daily dog walk and nothing seemed different until he stepped foot inside. “I smelled something strange and I asked my wife if she’d been cooking, she said no.”

Barnhart left his home not knowing this was the last time he’d see it in good condition.

“I was about half way there and my wife called to tell me our neighbor called about our house exploding,” he says.

According to Elkhart Fire Chief Steve Kamp, firefighters were called out around 8:30 a.m. and put the fire out pretty quickly. The only thing Barnhart could see were the remains of the home.

“The windows were blown off, the garage door and the front door were blown off,” he explains.

Behind the home, the foundation was damaged and pieces of the home were literally hanging.

“I have a piece of mind that God will never leave us, so we’ll have a home,” says Barnhart.

Firefighters on scene even helped Barnhart salvage his 1955 Chevrolet, which seems to work properly.


With the help of the fire department and neighbors Barnhart was able to handle this home explosion calmly now he’s just grateful.

“The pets were rescued amazingly so, I don’t know how they survived. We’re safe, this is just stuff,” says Barnhart.

This investigation is still ongoing.

Share this article: