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Rogers Apartment Residents Return Home After Gas Tank Explosion

Updated: 01/05/2014 11:36 PM
Created: 01/05/2014 9:30 AM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

A propane explosion rocked a neighborhood in Rogers Sunday morning, forcing hundreds of people to be temporarily evacuated.

The explosion sent dozens of fireballs into the air behind an apartment building. Large fireballs were reported by residents in Rogers at 13600 S. Commerce Blvd. near Diamond Lake Road around 8:40 a.m.

Besides the burned canopy roof, there's not a lot of surface damage to the apartment complex; mostly just blown out windows. Fire Chief Brad Feist said there were no injuries. He says most of the damage was confined to an outside propane generator.

Approximately 400-500 residents living at the Preserve at Commerce apartment complex were immediately evacuated. Residents were relocated to the Hampton Inn and the Rogers 18 Theatre. They were able to return home Sunday afternoon. The American Red Cross is assisting tenants of four units who were unable to return to their units.

Bill Decowski said the first fireball shook his house. Then he said they felt dozens more.

For Dillon Czanstaowski and Brian Dongoski, who live on the other side of the complex, they felt the explosion, before they saw it. "I thought it was a car that drove into the building, it shook the whole building, it was crazy," said Dillon Czanstaowski.

"Suddenly it was just like, boom, and everything shook. It felt like somebody up on top of us in the apartment above, dropped something like a fridge or stove, hard," said Brian Dongoski.

Authorities are investigating the explosion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Bobbi Jo Renneberg
Photo: Bill Decowski

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