After man makes bomb threat, Wisconsin apartment building explodes

Residents were evacuated shortly before the explosion occurred.

A man has died in an explosion at a Wisconsin apartment building shortly after he called police threatening to blow the complex up.

Police in Rice Lake, which is in northwest Wisconsin, received a call at 11:07 p.m. Sunday from an "upset" man who said he had a bomb.

When they arrived at the apartment complex on South Main Street, they could hear a man yelling inside one of the apartments who, when police made contact with him, "threatened to blow everyone up," according to a news release from Rice Lake PD.

Police evacuated 14 people from the building and a short time later they observed the man, identified as 44-year-old Joseph Zunker, starting a fire, which was followed by an explosion.

Fire spread throughout the apartment building, rendering it a total loss, and Zunker himself was confirmed to have died in the fire.

One officer from Rice Lake PD was treated for minor injuries after being hit by a piece of debris, while one citizen was injured while being evacuated from the building.

Police Capt. Tracy Hom told the Pioneer Press that Zunker had a history of contact with the police.

The following video shows the aftermath of the fire, courtesy of Rice Lake Chronotype on YouTube.

Next Up