Family of victim in St. Paul home explosion: 'It's unbelievable that he came out alive'

November 24, 2018 06:21 PM

Investigators in St. Paul are still trying to determine the official cause of an explosion that leveled a home on the east side on Friday morning.

The blast sent the homeowner, 80-year-old John Lundahl, to Regions hospital after first responders pulled him from inside of the home. A hospital spokesperson said he remains in critical condition.

Advertisement

Richard and Jeanie Lundahl, John's brother and sister-in-law, said he suffered burns to his face and arms. He also has a broken arm and pelvis.

But despite his injuries, Jeanie Lundahl said he is lucky to be alive.

"I don't know how anybody could have survived anything like that," his sister-in-law said in an interview Saturday.

On Friday, fire officials said they suspected a gas leak caused the explosion, that sent a fireball into the sky and debris flying at least 40 feet from the home. 

RELATED: 12 people displaced after home explosion in St. Paul

Jeanie Lundahl, who spends the winter in California with her husband, said they got the call that something was wrong on Friday morning.

"Our granddaughter had driven down there and she said it was Uncle John's house and we thought, 'oh my Lord,'" Jeanie said. 

Family members say John lives alone in the home that's been in the family for nearly 90 years. His sister-in-law says he's active for his age and isn't slowing down.

"It's hard convincing him that he's going to be 81-years-old," Jeanie said. "He's constantly working in his backyard, just hauling in dirt, doing whatever."

St. Paul fire officials said 11 other people were displaced as a result of the blast. Two homes and a nearby business were condemned.


 

Connect with KSTP


Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Credits

Kirsten Swanson

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Advertisement

UPDATE: State Patrol says 2 arrested in St. Paul Breonna Taylor protests

Dying young: Race factors in COVID-19 deaths among working-age Minnesotans

Cell phone video captures carjacking; Minneapolis residents push city leaders for action

Choo Choo Bob's Train Store to close in St. Paul

Brainerd High School one of first to transition learning models this year

The Latest: Trump, Biden comment on protests, officers shot

Advertisement