She said it took five minutes for emergency crews to get to City Hall. She said he paced for those five minutes, unable to sit. "His clothes were burned badly, his skin was in very serious condition. His face had been burned, it was very obvious he was in a lot of pain, and was seriously injured."
Her emergency call brought Chief Ray Classen to City Hall - concerned it was an employee of his.
"When I got inside and realized it wasn't one of our employees, then my concern was whether or not the house was on fire, and if anyone else was in the house," he said as he looked at the broken home. "I wanted to make sure nobody else was in the house."
No one was inside. The Chief checked every room still standing.
"I could feel the floor creaking, so I thought, I'm getting out of here because -- you know, I didn't know how stable it was. And I didn't want to be in there if the thing collapsed on me. Once I knew nobody was in the house, I got out of there. And nobody's been there since."
Late Thursday afternoon, the Newton Fire Marshal released the property back to the homeowner. The man who was renting the home, Terry Reynolds, is in critical condition in a hospital burn unit.
He was the only person home at the time. The Humane Society is caring for the man's dog tonight, and the man's girlfriend is looking after his horse, which is still on the property.
By Megahn Snyder and Rebecca Gannon (NORTH NEWTON, Kan.)
A man is in critical condition, the victim of a house explosion just outside North Newton.
Fire crews received the call around noon Thursday. North Newton Police Chief Ray Classen says the victim, Terry Reynolds, was trying to light the pilot light in his hot water heater when the blast happened.
The explosion knocked the north wall about six feet away from the house and foundation also exploded from the home sending the cinderblocks a foot or two from where they're supposed to be supporting the house.
The man's cell phone didn't work, so he drove himself to North Newton City Hall where the city clerk says she called emergency crews for him.
Classen says the explosion destroyed the home Reynolds was renting. The fire marshal is investigating.