Local law enforcement officers believe a Polk County resident was making explosives Tuesday in Sterling Township when the materials blew up, severely injuring his hand.
According to a report from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, dispatch received a call at 8:15 p.m., Dec. 4. The caller reported that a 50 year old male, Eric Kenneth Schueller, had “blown his hand off” while possibly making explosives.
Upon arrival to the rural Sterling Township residence, located at 2776 Evergreen Avenue, St Croix Falls, deputies found the Schueller’s injuries consistent with the report to dispatch. They deemed the injuries serious and possibly life threatening. Aside from injuries to his hand, the Schueller appeared to have burns to other parts of his body.
Deputies called Cushing Fire and first responders to the scene. Schueller was later flown to the Regions Hospital for care. His present medical condition is unknown.
During the response, deputies identified chemicals inside the residence they deemed suspicious. After securing the residence and surrounding area, they called the Marathon - Oneida County Bomb Squad to assist in containing the explosives.
Bomb technicians reported there were chemicals in and outside of the residence that were stable but, when mixed together, would produce explosive material. Bomb technicians collected the chemicals and processed the scene.
Assisting with incident were the Cushing Fire and First Responders, the Lakes Area Ambulance, the Life Link air ambulance the Marathon – Oneida County Bomb Squad, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This matter will be further investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and assisting agencies.