New BRPS teacher’s Lakeview-area home explodes

Couple escape with minor injuries; cause of blast under investigation

CATO TWP. – The home of Rachel Bucholtz, a kindergarten teacher recently hired at Riverview Elementary School, exploded at about 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday.

Rachel Bucholtz

Bucholtz and her husband, Brian, escaped from their home at at 8449 Vining Road near Six Lakes, about four miles south of Lakeview, with minor injuries. Their pets were safe as well.

Brian was treated at Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview and will go to Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville for surgery today on torn tendons in his foot, Rachel said.

Despite losing her home Wednesday morning, Rachel still made it to Riverview’s open house Wednesday night.

“We’re feeling very fortunate,” she said. “I figured the happiest place I could be tonight was in my classroom.”

Her paraprofessional recopied all the handouts Rachel needed for the open house, which were lost in the fire. Riverview’s other kindergarten teachers set up her classroom for her.

“I came in (to the school) expecting a lot of work and it was done for me,” Rachel said. “It’s amazing.”

She brings three years of teaching experience at Lakeview Community Schools to the position at Riverview.

Verna Cornell, Rachel’s grandmother, said the house burned down, and Rachel was especially worried about losing her lesson plans.

“I thought, ‘Oh, honey, you’ve lost everything and you’re worried about the lesson plans you’re going to teach,’” Cornell said.

The Bucholtz family is planning to rebuild their home, which stood on the family farm. In the meantime, Rachel and Brian will live with family members.

It took firefighters about four-and-a-half hours to clear the scene of the explosion, the cause of which is still under investigation, Lakeview Fire Chief Patrick Q. Carr told the Daily News in Greenville.

Leave a Reply