1 flown to hospital for injuries from apparent house explosion in Isanti County
Like every Monday, the Holker family kicked off the week with another round of homeschooling, but what came next they didn’t plan for.
“I looked out the window and saw smoke,” Kari Holker, neighbor, said. “It’s devastating. We took a moment to do a prayer on their behalf.”
Right off Highway 95 and Puma Street in Princeton, Holker saw her neighbor’s house go up in flames.
Isanti County Sheriff Wayne Seiberlich said first responders received the call at about 9:20 a.m.
Emergency crews were fighting the fire for hours and authorities closed off the intersection of Highway 95 and Puma Street to everyone but emergency responders.
One woman was airlifted to the hospital with injuries, according to Seiberlich.
They had to bring in their own water basin since the area does not have fire hydrants.
The Princeton Fire Chief said the structure of the home also created challenges.
“It’s kind of the way the home is built. We’re getting some hard spots in the ceiling, but now we’re going to foam it and that should get it out pretty quickly here,” Chief Ron Lawrence, Princeton Fire, said.
Neighbors explained seeing the home damage was tough.
“I was sad. There’s a nice couple who lives there,” Ralph Egbert, neighbor, said.
The couple who lives in the house is known for being cat lovers.
“She’s got lots of cats. I think she had about three of them inside and then about eight to call the place home, but they’re outside,” Egbert said.
The fire chief said they were able to rescue some of them and they’re doing okay.
Neighbors said they’re hoping for a speedy recovery for the victim.
“I’m grateful we’re safe, but my heart is aching for Valerie and her husband right now,” Holker said.
Aerials of the explosion site can be viewed in the video player below.