A high school student in White Bear Lake, Minnesota says he is lucky to be alive after an explosion in his ice house last Friday. Surprisingly, the incident did not happen on the ice, but in the driveway of the victim’s own home. 18-year-old Macen Ellering told WCCO that he was waiting for a friend to pick him up on Friday morning when he decided to take shelter from the cold inside his ice shack, which was sitting in the driveway.
“I went outside turn on the propane, came back and turned on the furnace, and once that furnace ignited the whole shack on the inside went up in flames,” Macen Ellering said.
The resulting explosion scorched Ellering’s body, leaving him with second and third degree burns across his face, neck, and hands. The power of the explosion was enough to blow the door of the ice house straight off and Ellering said he remembered scrambling out of the ice house and into his home to check his injuries.
“I’m lucky that I didn’t inhale anything. That was the first thing I checked were my eyes and my breathing because right away I thought I was breathing in fire,” he said in an interview with KSTP, which you can watch below.
Doctors say that Ellering will likely return to his normal skin color within a year, although he will need to go through months of treatment and avoid excessive exposure to the sun—or use sunblock—for the rest of his life. Officials are currently investigating the cause of the accident. Ellering’s family said they recently had the ice house serviced to fix some furnace issues. A GoFundMe campaign has also been started to help raise money for Ellering’s medical expenses.
Ellering, for his part, says he is eager to go ice fishing again.
“My love for ice fishing is not going to stop,” he said.