Big Lake, MN – 3 injured in Big Lake house explosion –

While three people undergo treatment for burns suffered in a Big Lake home explosion, investigators are trying to determine whether a repairman missed a gas leak.

Ramona and Laddy Cusick, both 79, were moving into their home, located on 182nd Avenue just across the river from Monticello, Wednesday afternoon when it blew apart.

Both were taken to Regions Hospital with second degree burns. Thursday morning, Ramona was in critical condition and Laddy was in fair condition.

Two friends helping them move were also hurt. One only suffered minor injuries. The other, Marianne Richardson, 69, was in serious condition at Hennepin County Medical Center Thursday.

The Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott said investigators are sure that the cause was a natural gas leak. But Big Lake Fire Chief Tony Eisinger said they don’t know the source of the leak or what sparked the blast.

Eisinger said, “All we can say at this time is that is was some kind of natural gas leak in the house. we do have windows that were blown approximately 100 feet away from the house and the foundation is blown out from underneath the house.”

Brott said the Cusicks smelled gas on Monday. A repairman from the gas company investigated and found nothing wrong.

Wednesday they smelled gas again. The St. Cloud Times reported that they opened the garage doors to air out the garage, then went into the house and checked the appliances, but found nothing wrong. They continued to move their belongings into the home.

The sheriff’s office and fire marshall are investigating.