• Copper thief’s cigarette triggers house explosion

    by  • October 2, 2013 • News

    Central Illinois investigators say a would-be copper thief was injured during a house explosion that was likely sparked by house-explosionhis own cigarette.

    Monday night’s explosion heavily damaged a vacant Mattoon home.

    WAND-TV reports the man likely opened a gas line while stripping copper wire from the property. Then he lit a cigarette, which investigators believe prompted the blast.

    The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports the man was taken to a Springfield hospital where he’s being treated for severe burns.