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Batavia Couple Dies After Sunday House Explosion in Wisconsin

Dennis James Chidester of Batavia died Monday as a result of injuries sustained during the explosion, according to the Juneau County Sheriff's Office. Friend and relatives say his wife also died in the incident.

A Batavia man and woman are dead after a central Wisconsin house explosion on Sunday that also injured a girl.

Dennis James Chidester, 65, of Batavia died Monday as a result of injuries sustained during the blast, according to the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office. Chidester died at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, the Juneau County Coroner’s Office confirmed Tuesday.

Friends and relatives of the family told Batavia Patch that Chidester's wife, Carolyn, 62, also died in the blast. 

Investigators on Tuesday said the house blew up due to a vapor explosion within the interior of the home. The source of the vapor remains undetermined.

Foul play is not suspected in this incident at this time, said Shaun Goyette, a Juneau County detective who spoke with Batavia Patch on Tuesday.

At about 1:25 p.m. on Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received a call of an explosion at N12475 Highway G in Armenia Township. Armenia is about 100 miles north of Madison.

Police found Chidester and a juvenile at the scene, both injured, along with a dead adult that relatives think is Chidester's wife.

Police on Tuesday did not confirm the identify of the adult, as they were still working to identify that victim's remains.

The investigators have a good idea of who the adult is, but they are waiting for positive identification from another agency, Goyette said. He did not name the agency.

The juvenile is Chidester’s granddaughter. Goyette said he thought she is also from Illinois, but Batavia Patch was not immediately able to confirm that on Tuesday. (Editor's note: Batavia Patch has since confirmed that the granddaughter is Sydney Chidester of Batavia. For more on efforts to help her, click .)

The granddaughter’s parents were contacted and they are aware of what happened. The girl is currently receiving treatment at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Goyette said.

The explosion remains under investigation by the Juneau County Sheriff's Office, with assistance from the Wisconsin State Fire Marshal.

Batavia Patch will post more stories on this incident when it receives more information.

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