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Victim recounts Beaver Dam explosion one year later

Posted at 4:42 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 18:19:56-05

Tuesday marks one year since a deadly apartment explosion in Beaver Dam. Benjamin Morrow, 28, died from the blast from one of his own bombs. Where that apartment building once stood on Knaup Drive is now a snowy, empty lot.

A woman who lived in a unit right underneath the suspect is thankful she's still alive today. Kathy Hagen vividly remembers hearing and feeling the accidental blast that knocked her to the ground while she was inside her apartment on March 5, 2018.

"When it all happened my wall and everything just like pulsed in," Hagen said. "My daughter was visiting. We were thrown back like someone had shoved and pushed us. We landed on our knees, and I just had this horrible feeling that the next thing was going to be shooting. Thank God, it wasn't."


Not only did the explosion leave Hagen without a home but most of her valuables also were destroyed by a controlled burn of the building 10 days later.

"My kids are all grown, but it's like the things they made in kindergarten and ornaments that meant something," Hagen said.

Newly unsealed documents show investigators questioned Morrow's coworkers who said they were concerned about comments he made after the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting.

"(A coworker) half-jokingly told Ben something similar to, 'You better not do that here,' " according to the police report. "Ben responded something similar to, 'Don't worry, you'll be the first to get out of here.' "

Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger said their investigation is closed despite many unanswered questions.

"At this time we don't (have a motive) and we would like to have that as part of our investigation to be able to answer those questions that people still have, and I don't think we'll ever know the answer," Kreuziger said.

"At least I know that what he was planning never happened and that's where I get peace out of that." — former resident Kathy Hagen said.

Hagen dropped off cookies Tuesday to thank officers who helped her that day. Hagen finds comfort in what she knows.

"At least I know that what he was planning never happened and that's where I get peace out of that," Hagen said.

The owners of the apartment complex plan to rebuild the destroyed building.