News - Joliet and Will County

Man dies from complications of burns in Joliet Township propane gas explosion, fire

A fire early Saturday morning, Aug. 20, 2022, destroyed a mobile home trailer and motor home at Martin’s Camping Ground in Joliet.

A man has died from complications of thermal burns he suffered from a propane gas explosion and fire about a month ago at Martin’s Camping Ground in Joliet Township.

Jeffery S. Robertson, 59, of Joliet was pronounced dead Tuesday at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death is considered an accident.

The incident that led to Robertson’s death occurred Aug. 20 at Martin’s Camping Ground, 725 Cherry Hill Road in Joliet Township.

Robertson was treated at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox before he was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The East Joliet Fire Protection District and the Will County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident.

After the incident, East Joliet Fire Chief Kirk Kelly told The Herald-News that firefighters were called to the campgrounds about 5:25 a.m. and found a mobile home and motor home “fully engulfed.”

Firefighters found one person with minor burns who was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Kelly said.

The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes, Kelly said.

“It is believed that the careless use of smoking material next to a leaking propane tank caused the fire,” Kelly said.

Deputies spoke with a witness who said he and his wife were asleep at another residence next door when they heard an explosion, Will County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said.

Deputies were able to speak with Robertson at Silver Cross Hospital. He said he lit a cigarette on a couch when the explosion occurred, Hoffmeyer said.

He had second-degree burns on his legs and arms, she said.