Corcoran, MN- In the rural west metro, residents take pride in their picturesque farmland. Jay Ericson thought his home was far from the noise of the city, until Monday morning.
The peace and quiet was interrupted by an explosion across the street.
The explosion happened at a residence on County Road 10 at around 7:20 a.m.
“We looked over and saw smoke coming from the neighbor’s house,” says Jay.
Jay ran over to help. He found the house badly damaged and on fire. But his neighbors were all right and standing outside waiting for help, not sure exactly what happened.
“I was sleeping. I just got back from Colorado so I was pretty tired and I don’t know it sounded like a big car crash,” says Jay.
Authorities say what sounded like a crash was actually a propane-related explosion. The propane tank was hooked up to the furnace and investigators believe a leak may have filled the crawl space underneath the house to fill with propane. A spark set it off, possibly from the water heater.
“Homeowners were getting ready for work, doing their morning tasks, getting the coffee going, getting ready for work,” says Corporal John Hamilton with the Corcoran Police Department.
Authorities say the residents didn’t smell anything because their windows were open and since the furnace wasn’t running, they may never have known the danger.
There was a lot of damage, contained mostly to the windows and west wall. But the damage represents years of hard work gone. Relatives of the people who live in the home tell KARE 11 that the farmhouse was originally built in the 1800s. The homeowner spent nearly 20 years restoring the building. Now, it’s not clear how much can be salvaged.
“It really shows the force of a propane explosion and how devastating it can be,” says Corporal Hamilton.
Authorities urge people to have their propane tanks and pipes checked often, especially before winter.
Kare 11 spoke briefly with one of the homeowners, who was too shaken up to appear on camera. The two residents suffered a few cuts and bruises, but feel very lucky