Skip to main content

Investigators says fatal explosion that leveled St. Paul house was accidental

It was likely the result of an internal gas leak.

Investigators have determined the likely cause of a massive explosion that leveled a St. Paul house and led to the death of its owner weeks later.

Saint Paul Fire Department ruled that the blast at the home on Payne Avenue the day after Thanksgiving was accidental, likely caused by a gas leak.

Investigators from the fire department, Xcel Energy and the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety found that the supply pipes outside the home were all in satisfactory condition.

They determined therefore that the explosion was most likely the cause from a leak from a fitting or valve inside the house on the corner of Payne and Edgerton Street.

Xcel Energy said that the average gas flow to the house increased the day before and the day of the explosion.

The homeowner, 80-year-old John Lundahl, emerged from the rubble after the blast and was taken to an area hospital.

Unfortunately, he died from the injuries suffered in the explosion a few weeks later.

A surveillance camera located further down the street caught the moment the house exploded.

Next Up

Train Days

Historic locomotives to roll into St. Paul for Train Days

The festival at the Union Depot returns June 4-5.

Dalton tornado

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind possible in Sunday/Monday storms

The Twin Cities is among the areas that could get hit.

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."


The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.


APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.


Home destroyed by fire in St. Paul

Victim of St. Paul house explosion is in 'unbearable pain'

The 74-year-old suffered second-degree burns to his upper body.

Elderly man injured in St. Paul house explosion dies

John Lundahl died on Tuesday night, his brother said.

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 9.51.30 PM

Teen dies in possibly accidental shooting at St. Paul home

In another incident in St. Paul Wednesday evening, a U.S. Marshal shot an armed man at a gas station.

Watch: Camera captures moment house exploded in St. Paul

An 80-year-old man was injured and 12 people displaced.

Firefighter killed after massive explosion in Wisconsin suburb

A punctured gas main sent gas leaking into a property, which then exploded.

Early morning explosion levels house in Isanti County

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