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Man killed in Byrnes Mill home explosion identified

BYRNES MILL, Mo. - An explosion shook a Jefferson County home Sunday afternoon.

The blast happened around 5:15 p.m. at a home in the 3700 block of Clearview Drive, located in Byrnes Mill. The explosion leveled the home to the ground. A fire from the blast burned the remains of the home.

Authorities said two people were in the home at the time of the explosion. One of the individuals, 57-year-old James Ingoldsby, was killed in the blast. Brenda Ingoldsby, James' wife, was transported to a hospital for treatment and later released.

James and Brenda Ingoldsby.

Video from the scene showed debris in the yard and surrounding neighborhood. Some of the surrounding homes suffered structural damage.

Witnesses said the blast shook homes as far as a mile from the scene.

Firefighters from surrounding departments were called to the scene.  The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department sent a fire investigator and a crime scene detective to assist in the investigation.

Tom Hayes, who was visiting his daughter at a home next door, had tears in his eyes explaining that he and his son-in-law rescued Brenda but were unable to get to Jim because of the immense fire.

"Her husband was yelling to us to get her out and he was the last thing I saw…it was and the look on his face and he knew he was going to die," Hayes said.

Charles, Hayes’ son-in-law, said Tom was absolutely selfless in rushing into the home to help.

"We kept telling her come towards us, come towards us, her voice kept giving us hope, and as soon as we saw her we knew we were getting her out," he said.

There’s been no word on a reason behind the explosion. However, neighbors said the Ingoldsbys had their propane tank refilled on Friday and they had complained of headaches over the weekend.

The High Ridge Fire District, the Jefferson County sheriff and fire departments, the Missouri State Fire Marshal, and the Missouri Propane Safety Commission continued their joint investigation into the explosion late Monday afternoon.

The Ingoldsby family released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"Our family would like to thank all the emergency personnel and first responders that worked the scene. We would also like to thank Tom Hayes for pulling Brenda from the rubble just moments after the explosion. Without his quick and heroic actions, she wouldn't be here today.

"Brenda sustained multiple lacerations and bruises from the blast but no major injuries. She was released from the hospital late last night. She is in complete disbelief and deeply saddened by the loss of her home and one of the family dogs and devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of her husband Jim. Jim was a thoughtful and caring man, a devoted husband and father, and doting 'parent' of two dogs. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him."