2 hospitalized after apartment explosion in Hoffman

2 hospitalized after apartment explosion in Hoffman

2 hospitalized after apartment explosion in Hoffman

Two people were taken to a hospital after a reported apartment explosion Friday in Hoffman.

According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, several people called 911 just before 9:30 a.m. and said there was an explosion at North Star Manor Apartments, located on the corner of Iowa Avenue and Fifth Street North. The town of around 700 people is located about 20 miles west of Alexandria.

“My first thoughts are how bad is the explosion, do we have anybody injured, are we going to look at evacuating [and] what are we going to be using for getting people out of here?” Grant County Sheriff Jon Combs said.

Several agencies responded to the apartment building. The sheriff’s office says all tenants were evacuated and two people were hospitalized due to injuries from the explosion. It wasn’t immediately clear how severe their injuries were, and Combs did not have an update later in the day.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

“It’s not a safe place to be right now. There’s an ongoing investigation as to why this explosion had happened. [The] state fire marshal has been on the scene for many hours,” Combs added.

The Red Cross says it is working with local officials to support those in need of shelter and other services.

From across the street, Debrah Holmquist said she didn’t hear the explosion and had no damage to her home.

“I’m just hoping that everybody that lives in that building has a safe place to be tonight,” Holmquist said.

Another neighbor, Richie Johnson, feels he won’t be seeing his neighbors anytime soon.

“Oh, that’ll be an all-winter deal. They’ll be lucky if they get people in there by the middle of next summer,” Johnson said about the expected construction work.