Housemate: explosion victim immersed himself in science

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MIDDLETON (WKOW) – The roommate of the victim of an explosion in a Middleton home’s garage says the man is immersed in science and experimentation, but is careful about his work.

“He is not a dangerous person,”  Erin Henderson says of the 45-year-old man.

Middleton Police says the man was hurt when an explosion took place inside the detached garage Tuesday night on South Avenue.  Emergency responders evacuated several nearby homes and blocked off streets for hours.  Captain Jeremy Greiszler says members of Dane County’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit checked the home and area and determined there was no additional explosive threat.

Home owner Keith Schmudlach tells 27 News the injured tenant collected computer parts, scrap metal and other material.  He says the man carried out extraction processes and experiments.

“I thought some day he’d blow himself up,”  Schmudlach tells 27 News.  But Schmudlach says he respected the man’s inventive tinkering,  and did not attempt to try to stop his work.

“His curiosity ends at nothing,” Henderson says, adding her roommate researched his scientific work. “He’s neat.  He’s different.”

Greiszler says a criminal investigation continues into the circumstances of the explosion.

“There’s a number of things that could have caused it, and the investigators and detectives are looking into that further in an effort to determine what the actual cause was,”  Greiszler says.

Schumdlach says the man suffered serious burns.

Henderson says she was in the home at the time of the garage explosion, but she’s unharmed.  She says she provided emergency care for her roommate before fire and police personnel arrived.

“It certainly wasn’t his intention to cause any harm,”  Henderson tells 27 News.

A Middleton Police officer remained stationed at the home Wednesday evening, more than twenty hours after the explosion.

 

Tony Galli

Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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