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RANTOUL — A Rantoul man died in an explosion and fire that destroyed his house Tuesday afternoon.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup identified him as Raymond J. Wolst, 66.

No one else was injured in the fire at the house in the 400 block Broadmeadow Road on the city’s southwest side.

“The neighbors said they heard an explosion,” Fire Chief Ken Waters said. “When I got there, the front window was blown out, and the back side of the house was blown off the foundation about a foot.”

Waters said the house was fully involved in flames when he arrived.

Firefighters received the call at 12:26 p.m. and cleared the scene about 4:15 p.m.

Investigators from the Rantoul Police Department and Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office are attempting to determine what caused the explosion in the single-story, three-bedroom frame house.

Waters said no neighboring properties were damaged.

The house had a steel roof, and the fire burned the rafters out from underneath it.

Firefighters used a ladder truck over top of the house.

Rantoul firefighters received mutual aid from the Thomasboro and Gifford departments. About 25 firefighters were on the scene.

The fire caused heavy smoke in the area.

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