Wis. woman survives fish house explosion

7:40 AM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
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CLAM FALLS, Wis. - There are those people who will tell you that sitting in a fish house on a frozen lake is truly a blast.

Michelle Schmidt gives a literal spin to that phrase.

Schmidt, the owner of a tavern in Clam Falls, Wisconsin, decided she wanted to do some fishing before opening her business last Thursday so she asked a friend to borrow his fish house.

Once on the lake and inside the house Schmidt took the propane bottle off the heater, learned it was full of fuel, and apparently didn't put it back on tight enough. When she went to light the heater, Schmidt says a "big ball of fire" came at her.

"The first thing through my mind was, stop drop and roll as you're always taught," Schmidt says. "But I dropped to my knees and I was able to put it out with some snow, my mittens and my pants and my shirt."

Schmidt dove out the door, her gloves and hat having caught fire. She suffered minor burns, but says she is grateful. She considers herself lucky to be alive.

"I'm very embarrassed that it even happened because, I know about these things," Schmidt says.

The fish house did not come out as well, burning to a crisp. Schmidt hopes to build her friend a new one in time for next year.

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