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Explosion, Fire Destroy House in St. Louis Park; Woman Escapes

Updated: 04/01/2014 7:29 AM
Created: 03/31/2014 7:20 PM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste

A woman was taken to the hospital Monday evening after a fire and explosion at her St. Louis Park home.

The home at 2900 Texa Tonka Ave. was fully engulfed by flames when fire crews arrived. One woman was inside at the time and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for smoke inhalation, and is expected to be OK. No other injuries were reported.

St. Louis Park Fire Chief Steve Koering believes the fire started first and then there was an explosion. He says the woman uses oxygen tanks and that she's a smoker. It's unclear what caused the fire, but officials believe it's possible that the oxygen tanks started to explode after the fire. 

Neighbors and the woman reported hearing noises that sounded like explosions.

"So we were just sitting in the house, I was on the phone and we heard - it almost sounded like lightning had struck so I kind of looked outside to see if it was raining and it wasn't and then we just heard a big explosion and pictures fell off the side of our wall and we kind of just got up and ran out," neighbor Jennifer Ham said.

CenterPoint Energy responded to the scene and determined natural gas was not a factor.

According to Jamie Zwilling with St. Louis Park, the home is a total loss.

Photo: Tara Cegla

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