Louisville man accused of causing explosion, seriously injuring self and nearly hurting fiance

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man faced a judge Wednesday morning, several weeks after investigators say intentionally removed gas lines from appliances in his home, causing an explosion that seriously injured him and nearly injured his fiancee.

According to an arrest report, the incident took place on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the home of 55-year-old Christopher Wimberg on Houston Boulevard, near Taylorsville Road.

Louisville Metro Arson investigators say Wimberg removed the gas lines, creating a natural gas leak, which in turn ignited, causing an explosion and fire.

"The explosion occurred while the subject's fiance[e] was in close proximity to the dwelling, placing her at substantial danger of death or serious physical injury," the arrest report states.

Authorities say Wimberg received "extensive injuries" from the explosion, and it caused over $100,000 worth of damage to the home.

Wimberg was charged with third-degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief.

Wimberg appeared in arraignment court Tuesday morning, several weeks after the alleged incident occurred. The man representing him Tuesday morning told the judge that Wimberg had been in the hospital for 60 days. Bandages could be seen on his hand.

"Talk a little loud," Wimberg told the judge. "I apologize. I'm a little hard of hearing."

"Okay, I'll try and talk as loud as I can," the judge said.

A not guilty plea was entered on Wimberg's behalf. The judge released him on his own recognizance without bail and allowed him to return home to await his next court appearance on Jan. 29 at 9 a.m.

"Leave your gas lines alone," the judge said. 

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