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Explosion, fire displace hundreds at apartments in Rogers; no injuries reported

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Hundreds of residents at an apartment complex in Rogers were evacuated Sunday morning as firefighters battled a blaze, Twin Cities media reported.

Initial media reports indicate no injuries had been reported.

WCCO reports that fire crews were working the fire at an apartment complex called The Preserve at Commerce at 13600 Commerce Boulevard, roughly 25 miles northwest of Minneapolis. The Pioneer Press reports that up to 600 residents were displaced after an underground propane tank exploded.

KSTP has raw video of what appears to be a tank sending plumes of flame into the air.

The Pioneer Press quotes Rogers police chief Jeff Beahen, who said the explosion stemmed from a 40-foot wide pavilion holding a generator and propane tank next to the apartment complex. The pavilion exploded at 8:41 a.m., he said, and by 9:30 a.m., everyone had been evacuated. He said windows of the apartment were blown out, but the only visible damage was to the three-story apartment building.

KSTP spoke to Bill Decowski, a nearby resident, who said that he saw a fireball and felt it shake his house. He said he saw additional fireballs that shot four or five stories into the air.

Families, many with children, from the 196-unit apartment complex were being taken by Metro Transit buses to a hotel across the street and to the nearby Rogers movie theater. It was minus-9 degrees in Rogers Sunday morning.

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