Timeline set to distribute donations for Fitchburg explosion vic - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Timeline set to distribute donations for Fitchburg explosion victims

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FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- People still paying for damage cleanup after a house exploded in Fitchburg more than a year ago are finally learning when they might get some help from the community.

An online fundraising page and a pig roast brought in $8,000 for people whose homes were damaged when their neighbor's house exploded in August 2016, but that money has not yet been distributed. 

Chuck and Mary Katic live across the street from the house that exploded. They say insurance only covered a portion of their damage costs. They had to replace all their windows, furniture and flooring. The couple has been seeing bills pile up and say they need the help as soon as possible. 

"It is a little bit frustrating," Chuck Katic told 27 News. "It's been a year in August, so it's been a long time coming."  

Alders met with people who live in the Tower Hill neighborhood Wednesday night to talk about how to distribute the money raised for them. They decided to create a committee to make those decisions. They'll hand out applications for assistance with a deadline to turn them in on Nov. 17, 2017. They'll meet the following Monday to decide how to divide up the donations. 

(Download an application HERE.)

"I'm sure everyone had deductibles. I'm sure everyone had out of pocket expenses, but I really want the committee to look at the needs of the most of the people who needs it the most and I think that's the way it should be shared," Katic said.

Alder Dan Bahr says while it's been a frustrating time for many in the community, the explosion has brought neighbors together to support one another.

"I hope that sense of community stays together, people continue to build on what they've done for one another," Bahr said.

A man who was inside the home that exploded was in critical condition after the blast. Multiple homes nearby were damaged. Investigators determined a natural gas leak on an uncapped line caused the explosion but they could not figure out what ignited the blast, so the official cause is undetermined. 

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