Woman hospitalized after reported home explosion in Richfield

Woman hospitalized after reported home explosion in Richfield

Woman hospitalized after reported home explosion in Richfield

Multiple emergency vehicles are at the scene of a fire and apparent explosion at a home in Richfield on Monday.

Crews from multiple agencies called to the area of 64th Street and Oliver Avenue just before 8:45 a.m. after reports of an explosion, according to Richfield Fire Chief Mike Dobesh.

A woman was inside the home at the time, and Dobesh says two Hennepin County deputies who were nearby at the time were able to quickly respond and help her to safety. She was then taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

Authorities say they don’t believe anyone else was inside the home at the time, although it’s still unclear if there are any pets missing.

Firefighters upgraded the call to a third-alarm fire and more than a dozen crews responded. Pictures from the scene show serious damage to the home, which had both side walls and a front window blown out, and smoke was visible from several blocks away, as seen on a traffic management camera below.

As of 9:30 a.m., Dobesh said the home was “very unstable” and was expected to collapse within an hour. It was down by 10:30 a.m., as a front-end loader was brought in to assist.

A MnDOT Traffic Management Camera captures smoke rising from a structure in Richfield on Monday, April 22, 2024.

Jenefer Gomez, who lives in the area, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that she was doing dishes when she heard a loud “boom.” Gomez said she ran to check on her son, then looked around the house before checking outside and seeing the shed on fire.

She later learned of the home explosion and says she’s known the residents of the home for a long time, adding that they’re first-time homebuyers who’d just moved into the home a month or two ago.

Gomez said she called one of the homeowners about the explosion and learned her mother was home at the time. Fortunately, she’s expected to be OK.

“It’s just sad that it happened to them when it’s their first-time home,” Gomez said.

A shed about a half-block away from the home was also damaged after it caught fire due to falling power lines.

Jim McFarlane, the owner of that shed, said he was on a coffee break at work when a neighbor called and told him a house exploded and his shed was on fire.

“When you hear ‘the house exploded,’ you don’t think it actually exploded, you just think, ‘OK, there’s a panic, you’re overreacting.’ I get home and I see this … I drove home thinking I was gonna grab the garden hose and control this,” he said.

By the time he got back, McFarlane says crews were hosing down his shed but a lawnmower and a box with “some memories” were destroyed.

“This is not how I wanted to start this week,” McFarlane said, adding that he’s at least glad there wasn’t more damage to his or other home and saying he’s happy to hear everyone seems to be OK.

No other injuries have been reported at this time, and the cause of the fire and apparent explosion are still under investigation.

Firefighters at the scene of a reported explosion and fire at a home in Richfield on April 22, 2024. (KSTP-TV)
A shed is damaged after a fire in Richfield that is believed to have started after an explosion caused a power line to fall. (KSTP-TV)

This is a breaking news story. Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on air and online for the latest updates throughout the day.