Twin Lakes, MN – By Jan Tucker, Globe Staff Writer
The Twin Lakes summer home of a Mass area couple “blew apart” in an explosion that could be felt and heard around the lake in Twin Lakes last night.
No one was at the summer house owned by Mike and Gail Kocher of East Branch, when it exploded around 9 p.m., according to Twin Lakes fireman Mike Sabo.
The two-story house is located at the corner of M-26 and Parkside Drive next to the Twin Lakes State Park. Sabo said the force of the explosion blew debris in all directions, including across the state highway. What was left of the building after the explosion completely burned, Sabo said.
The doors were blown off a nearby residence.
“It shook my whole house. I thought it was a plane crash,” said Twin Lakes resident Jim Plutchak.
Gail Kocher said today that the couple purchased the house a little over two years ago and used it periodically in the summer. Last summer they rented out the home. Mike Kocher and their son had been at the house Tuesday, dropped off lawnmowers and mowed the lawn. She said they cooked hot dogs on the newer type propane gas stove in the house.
Sabo said it “may have been a propane leak that caused the problem.”
Gail Kocher said the house had “beautiful hardwood floors” and the family had been fixing it up little by little.
“We stay there off and on through the summer,” she added.
“Thank God no one was there or driving by,” she commented, as someone would have been hurt or even killed.
Joyce Penegor, a resident of Twin Lakes, said the explosion shook the area. “You could feel it and hear it everywhere.”