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Attempted copper theft possible cause of explosion?

Published 10/01 2013 09:53AM

Updated 10/01 2013 09:56AM

MATTOON -- Police are conducting a criminal investigation after an explosion at a vacant home. It happened Monday night in the 1800-block of Essex Avenue.

Ameren crews were told a man was trying to break into the home to steal copper piping when the gas lined opened. The man then reportedly tried to light a cigarette which caused the explosion.

He was taken to a burn center. No word on his condition.

Neighbors reported hearing the explosion. Some were asked to evacuate their homes as a precaution.

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