Was man injured in house explosion targeted?

MILWAUKEE — Six people went to the hospital in early June after being caught in a house explosion. Five of those were firefighters, and a man who lived upstairs suffered serious burns. Now, there is new evidence in the case, and the man’s family spoke with FOX6 News about his recovery.

The June 3rd natural gas fueled explosion caught several firefighters off guard, causing some of them to suffer second and third degree burns.

Cedric Jones

Cedric Jones

55-year-old Cedric Jones Sr. was severely burned as a result of the incident, and investigators believe he may have been targeted.

According to court documents obtained by FOX6 News, the natural gas leaking into the second floor of the 38th and Townsend duplex came through an opened gas valve. The documents say Jones’ family had lost contact with him two days before the explosion.

“He wouldn’t just disappear, so when he was gone, we automatically knew something wasn’t right,” Jones’ son, Cedric Jones, Jr. said.

According to a search warrant obtained by FOX6 News, Jones Sr. was selling his appliances through Craigslist, and had withdrawn nearly $700 in cash prior to the explosion. The warrant says police are investigating the possibility of arson and attempted homicide.

The Milwaukee Fire Department was initially called to the home to investigate a smell of natural gas. Before they could clear the building, the gas ignited. Moments later, Jones came running out of the second story, on fire. Over 70% of his body had been burned.

“Everything’s actually been going great lately though.  He’s growing his hair, his skin is coming back in. It’s a couple of surgeries out, but for right now it’s pretty good,” Jones Jr. said.

Jones Jr. says a month after the incident, his father remained in a medically-induced coma and wrapped in bandages. While the worst may be over, the road to recovery for Jones Sr. and his family has just begun.

“Months. We even asked ‘is this going to go all the way to next year?’ And they said ‘yeah.’ All we can do is just pray and hope and wish he come on back home,” Deloris Hall, another family member said.

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