Back in 2018, Diane Claeys, a survivor of the explosion that took place during a 4-H meeting at the home of Don and Betty Burzlaff, started compiling memories of that fateful night from area community members.

Claeys was hoping by the time the 40th anniversary of the event came along — which was May 11 — that she would have a large compilation of personal experiences documented.

However, COVID happened, and put her plans to a grinding halt.

Now that society slowly is opening up post-pandemic, Claeys said she very much would like to pick up where she left off.

Anyone who is interested in sharing what they remember about that night, may contact her via email at, or call her at (563) 847-2748.

Individuals also have the option to write down their memories. They can be mailed to Claeys at 2171 190th St., Grand Mound, Iowa 52751.

She said once she has all the memories she can gather — before anything is done with the information — she will make sure she has everyone’s permission to share their memories.

“One person’s story leads to another,” Claeys said. “Everybody has a story; something to offer. I want to hear from teachers, firefighters, 4-Hers, community members, survivors … anyone who remembers anything. These are memories and miracles we want to preserve.”