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"Just rips you apart": Friends talk about Lions Club members hurt in explosion

Steve Verg
Steve Verg(WBAY)
Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 4:08 PM CDT
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UPDATE 9/25:

Shawano County's Sheriff says one of the men in a house explosion in the Town of Grant has died.

Sheriff Adam Bieber confirms 62-year-old Steve Verg died as a result of the injuries he suffered in the explosion at his property on Verg Road.

Verg was one of four people transported to hospitals by ambulance or helicopter Monday evening.

The conditions of three other men injured in the explosion are unknown at this time.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

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INITIAL REPORT

Friends are opening up about four of their buddies who were injured in a Shawano County explosion.

Steve Verg, 62, was airlifted to a hospital in Madison after the explosion at his property on Verg Road in the Town of Grant. Three other men were transported to hospitals by ambulance or helicopter Monday evening.

Officials have only released Verg's name at this time. Friends tell Action 2 News all four men are members of the Caroline Lions Club.

The men were getting ready for the club's biggest fundraiser--the Caroline Lions Coloroma. The 31st annual trail ride is Oct. 3-6.

"It's Wisconsin's largest trail ride, over 1,000 horses every year," says Jim Polzin, Chairman, Caroline Lions Colorama.

"I am sure they were creating something yesterday when they met an unexpected event," says Wayne Schwartz, Secretary, Caroline Lions Club.

Lions Club members say the men suffered third-degree burns on about 50 percent of their bodies.

"My phone rang about a million times," says Polzin. "Friends of them all, all Lion members and I’m the chairman so my phone was just going crazy."

"I got it from my phone also but I didn’t make it to the scene, but I am a member of the fire department, and when I seen address of the phone, I know everybody who lives down that road, so just trying to figure out who it was," says Schwartz. "When I did find out, just rips you apart."

Wayne and Jim say they know their friends would want the Colorama to go on as scheduled. They plan to carry on with the ride.

"Steve is probably the rock of the Colorama, well probably all four of them guys. They've been up here two weeks working on it already," says Polzin. "But we are going to put the show on, out of respect for them four."

"This year more than ever we will be asking for the community to help," says Schwartz.

The Sheriff's Office and State Fire Marshal spent most of Tuesday morning at the scene. Investigators say there is no timeline for the results of the investigation.

for more on the explosion.

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