House blast in St Paul

Entercom

St. Paul's east side rocked by house explosion

Reports indicate at least one person injured

November 23, 2018 - 9:38 am

Authorities are on the scene of a house explosion on the east side St. Paul.  

There are reports of three people hurt in the Friday morning blast on the 600 block of Payne Avenue, across the street from the intercection with Edgerton Avenue.

Authorities are all but certain that the house was leveled by a natural gas explosion.

The house was leveled, emergency crews doing their best to clear away the rubble on the plot of land where the house had rested.

Debris littered the street in front of the house, and was seen tree tops, as high as 75 feet and up to 100 feet away from the site.

One of the people hurt in the blast, 80-year-old John Lundahl, is hospitalized and is expected to recover. Records show Lundahl owns the house.

He is believed to have been the only person inside the house at the time of the blast.

house blast in Saint Paul east side
Entercom

At least eight people have been displaced by the blast, which caused damage to houses anbd shattered windows in the immediate area.

"I felt my whole apartment shake," said Takara Haynes, who lives near where the blast happened. "I came out and smelled smoke, and everybody from every direction in the neighborhood came out trying to figure out what was going on. It was pretty scary."

People on social media are reporting that the blast happened around 8:30 Friday morning and was felt as far away as Maplewood. 

Xcel Energy released a statement about the blast:

“‘Our thoughts are with the residents affected by this incident. We are working with fire officials and emergency responders on the scene, and our emergency responders have completed safety checks of the area to confirm it is safe. We will coordinate with fire officials on the investigation into the cause of the incident. Protecting the safety of the public and of our employees is a core value and we take it very seriously."