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Explosion and fire level a house in St. Louis Park; 1 injured


A fire and explosion leveled a house in St. Louis Park Monday evening, sending a woman -- the only occupant -- to the hospital, WCCO reports.

The home at 2900 Texa Tonka was fully engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived, KSTP reports. The woman was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation. No one else was injured.

The woman is a smoker and uses oxygen, according to St. Louis Park Fire Chief Steve Koering. He told KSTP he believes the fire started first and caused the oxygen tanks to explode afterward. He said it's unclear what started the fire.

"We immediately went defensive as flames were visible on three sides of the home," Koering said, according to MPR News. "It pretty much burned a hole through the floor from the first to the second floor."

Neighbors and the woman reported hearing noises that sounded like explosions.

"We were just sitting in the house, I was on the phone and we heard - it almost sounded like lightning had struck, so I kind of looked outside to see if it was raining and it wasn't," neighbor Jennifer Ham told KSTP. "And then we just heard a big explosion and pictures fell off the side of our wall, and we kind of just got up and ran out."

A crew from CenterPoint Energy went to the scene and determined natural gas was not a factor, according to KSTP.

An official with the city of St. Louis Park said the home is a total loss.

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