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Meat Smoker Explosion Kills Town Of Lamartine Man

A 55-year-old Town of Lamartine man was killed when a homemade meat smoker exploded Saturday at W9184 Johnson Road. Sheriff’s officials say the call started as a report that someone had fallen. Investigators found Richard L. Zabel dead in a machine shed. He was smoking turkeys and chickens in the homemade meat smoker when the flame on the LP gas burner went out. As a result the chamber in the smoker had an accumulation of LP gas. He tried to re-light the burner and when he did the door on the smoker blew open and struck him in the head. North Fond du Lac ambulance and Lamartine First Responders also responded to the scene. The Sheriff’s and County Medical Examiner’s Offices are continuing their investigation.