ROCHELLE – A rural Rochelle man was injured Thursday afternoon after a furnace in his barn exploded, according to the Rochelle Fire Department.
The man, whose name isn’t being released, was flown to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford for treatment of burns to 20 percent of his body – specifically his hands and his legs, the fire department said.
Crews from eight departments, including Rochelle, Ogle-Lee, Ashton, Lynn-Scott-Rock, and Oregon, responded to the scene at 1884 S. White Rock Road, east of Chana, just before 4 p.m.
The large barn, which is not a livestock barn, was located north of the intersection of Cottonwood and White Rock roads. Firefighters reached the blaze in time to stop flames from reaching the nearby home and its garage.
Rochelle firefighter Ben Johnson said a preliminary investigation indicated that the fire was accidental.
“At this point, we believe the fire originated from a malfunction of a furnace that the man was trying to light,” Johnson said. “That’s all we know for now.”
No other injuries were reported, and the man’s status at the hospital was unavailable.
Shaw Media’s Earleen Hinton contributed to this report.