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A Chrisman man is lucky to be alive after his home exploded. At approximately 12:45, the home of Michael Brinkley, located at 223 North State Street erupted in flames. Luckily for Brinkley, about a half a block away were Illinois Police State Trooper Kris Martinez and Chrisman Police Officer Ray Sollars.
“We heard the explosion and came upon the house,” Martinez told us. “We heard someone calling for help and I entered the home. Mr. Brinkley was on the floor and I drug him out. Officer Sollars put him in his car until the paramedics got on the scene.”
Martinez and Sollars tended to Brinkley while they waited for the ambulance.
“At that point, they called for a helicopter to come pick him up and take him to the burn center in Indianapolis,” Chrisman Fire Chief Mike Marvin told us.
It was later stated by Chrisman Police Chief Dolan that Brinkley sustained severe burns to his hands and face as well as other parts of his body.
“I thought it was quite amazing that our officer and a the trooper got him out,” Dolan said at the Chrisman City meeting Monday night. “That doesn’t always happen, but they were both there and I think that man’s alive because they were there.”
The Chrisman Fire Department arrived on the scene at 12:55 pm. to begin fighting the fire.
“It took about two and a half hours to get it completely out,” Marvin said.
The Chrisman Fire Department requested mutual aid from Hume, Metcalf, Ridge Farm, Georgetown and Paris. All of the departments responded.
Once the fire was out, the Illinois State Fire Marshall as well as Ameren were called onto the scene.
Chief Marvin would like to thank the 911 dispatchers, Kris Martinez, Ray Sollars, area fire departments that came to help, Neal Ambulance Service and Horizon Health Ambulance Service.
“Everything came together and we had a good response time. He was very fortunate that there were people right there to extract him from the building,” Marvin said. “Had he been in the home when we got there, I doubt he would’ve survived.”
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.