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Wilton home destroyed by blast

1/08/14 (Wed)

By Stu Merry
BHG News

A Wilton man was fortunate to escape serious injury this past Thursday when the home he was renting exploded around him.

He wasn’t as fortunate a short time later when he was arrested by the McLean County Sheriff’s Department for arson, reckless endangerment and menacing.

The community in southern McLean County was rocked by the explosion at about 11 a.m. Jan. 2. Emergency units were dispatched to 206 McLean Avenue, only to find a home reduced to shambles, debris scattered in all directions. Wilton city crews and emergency personnel cordoned off the area.

Found alive was 52-year-old Ernest L. Miller who about five minutes after the explosion came crawling out of the rubble from the basement of the house. He was taken by Wilton Ambulance Service personnel to a Bismarck medical center for treatment of minor injuries and released. Miller was later arrested without incident at a Bismarck motel. His vehicles were also impounded.

McLean County Sheriff Don Charging explained the reason the vehicles were impounded was because Miller was in the hospital, and the vehicles needed to be moved as they were blocking adjacent streets after they were moved to allow emergency equipment better access to the home.