Skip to main content
Publish date:

1 died, 1 injured in explosion that leveled River Falls home

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the family.

One person has died from the home explosion in River Falls, Wisconsin, on Monday, Feb. 1.

Martha Gaustad, 75, died at the hospital, the River Falls Police Department said on Tuesday, while her daughter, Kari Gaustad, 42, is still hospitalized in stable condition. 

They were the only two people inside the home on the 4000 block of River Hills Road when it exploded, with authorities noting neighbors helped them out of the home. 

The River Falls Star-Observer reported a neighbor "heard a boom followed by their door being blown open and their house shaking." KARE 11 said the home is a "pile of rubble" and that a neighboring house sustained damage from the blast.

A neighbor Marlayna Diel, created a Go Fund Me page to help the Gaustad family pay for funeral and medical expenses, as well as housing and other basic necessities. 

The page says Kari Gaustad is suffering from "significant burns," but adds that Martha Gaustad's son's Jaren wasn't home at the time of the explosion. 

The page has a goal of raising $75,000 for the family. As of Wednesday morning, it had raised $13,804 for the family. 

Police said Tuesday the explosion is still under investigation. 

Next Up

boundary waters

Forest Service limiting permits to BWCAW due to damage, overcrowding

Visitors have been cutting down trees and have been forced to compete for campsites.

police lights

Lockdown update: Armed man threatened to go to Kimball High School

A high school and elementary school near St. Cloud went into lockdown as a precaution.

chaska sewer

People in Chaska are flushing the wrong crap down the toilet

Water and sewer crews in Chaska have had to clean the same pump four times in the past seven days.

Brian O'Neill

Matthew Coller: What if the Vikings didn't have Detroit?

The Lions have been like two freebies on the Vikings' schedule the past three seasons.

water drain

MN will get $116M for water projects as part of infrastructure package

Nationwide, $7.4 billion will be distributed for projects next year.


3rd teenage death from COVID-19 reported in Minnesota

All three of the teenage deaths have occurred in the past three months.

crowne plaza hotel minneapolis mn

Former downtown Minneapolis Crowne Plaza to become boutique hotel

The hotel closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and never reopened.

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, December 3

The latest from the health department. The next update comes Monday.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man who threatened suicide by cop detained, hospitalized

Officers responded to the incident at around 1:40 a.m. Friday.


Fire, firefighters

House explodes in River Falls; extent of injuries unknown

A neighbor reported hearing a boom followed by their door blowing up, a report says.

Woman killed in Wisconsin home explosion, husband injured

The explosion could be heard from 15 miles away, a neighbor said.

sleepy eye christensen farms grain elevator

2 explosions reported at grain elevators in S. Minnesota, 1 injured

One person was injured "as a direct result of the blast," officials said.

Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 3.53.08 PM

Outbreak of COVID-19 confirmed at River Falls care home

Three residents have died, with more than a dozen infected.

Early morning explosion levels house in Isanti County

Turkey hunters getting ready to go Friday morning heard two blasts.

Image from iOS (16)

House explosion kills 1, injures 1 in southwest Minnesota

Photos from the scene show complete destruction.

Tributes continue to pour in for beloved school staffers killed in explosion

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the families of Ruth Berg and John Carlson.