Explosion in Edina levels house; no injuries

7:29 PM, Feb 24, 2010   |    comments
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EDINA, Minn. -- A house explosion in Edina prompted the evacuation of 50 to 60 homes Tuesday while crews worked on fixing a gas leak and firefighters kept watch over a lingering gas fire.

Spokespeople with the Edina Fire Department and with CenterPoint Energy say the residents of the house that exploded were not home and are safe. The house was leveled.

"I could feel the explosion very, very strongly," said Devi Segal who had been in her home two doors down.  "We had things flying off our walls in the living room."

CenterPoint Energy spokeswoman Becca Virden says there were no injuries, though two CenterPoint employess working nearby were checked over by paramedics for possible flash burns.

Officials say a contractor was laying underground cable when a gas main was hit and ruptured about 12:45 p.m.  That prompted authorities to close streets and begin repairs on the gas main. 

The explosion happened about two hours later.

Jo Swendseen was doing her taxes in her home a block away, when and was startled by the blast.  "You could feel the whole house like it was lifted off the foundation and back down again."

Firefighters were content to monitor the fire for hours as it burned off gas still being released from the ruptured main.  The main was finally capped shortly before 9:00 p.m., allowing most residents to return to their homes.

The family dog somehow survived the house explosion.  The dog was treated at an Edina veterinary clinic for minor injuries, according to Virden. 

(Copyright 2010 by KARE & The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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