Local News


As many people in the community are aware, Mr. Edd Bickers Jr. of Kewanee was seriously injured and burned in a house fire and explosion at his home on January 11th.

The cause of the fire and explosion was a gas leak in the house, and Mr. Bickers was able to get out of the house and with the help of neighbors, was able to get far enough away from the house before the explosion.

But he suffered serious injuries as a result and he lost everything except his heart and smile that have helped so many others over the years.

He suffered second and third degree burns over his body and is currently in a Springfield hospital in the rehab unit where he is undergoing skin grafts and other treatments.

To say that Eddie is still with us is an understatement and truly by the grace of God he was able to survive.

But his entire home was destroyed and once home from the hospital, the process of re-building his life will get underway.

Eddie will reportedly stay with his sister Cheryl and her family once back in Kewanee.

A benefit event to help Mr. Bickers with expenses and ongoing treatments is on the schedule for Saturday, April 1st at the Boiler Room in downtown Kewanee beginning at 3 that afternoon.

One of the many sponsors for the benefit is the Shield of Faith and Jennifer Johnson, who lives with her family in Galva is with the Shield of Faith and she says there will be lots going on during the event on April 1st

Ms. Johnson says details are still being worked out but carry outs will likely be available that day with other entertainment features to also be a part of the day…

It’s not official but the hope right now is that Eddie will be able to return home to Kewanee sometime in mid February and Ms. Johnson adds that if you cannot make the benefit on April 1st, there are other ways to help out…

Any items of donations for the auction can be dropped off at the Insurance Office of Amber Patch-Troxell in Kewanee or at the Boiler Room in downtown Kewanee.

The entire event is being sponsored by the Shield of Faith, The Boiler Room in downtown Kewanee, Reimans Harley Davidson of Kewanee, the Defenders of Freedom and the Warrior Brotherhood.              

Other benefits are also being planned for the near future with details to come on those activities in the next few weeks.