Sewer gas blamed for southern Minnesota house explosion that injured man - TwinCities.com
FREEBORN, Minn. -- Fire officials confirmed Monday that gas from an uncapped sewer line caused the explosion at a house north of Freeborn on Friday that badly burned a man.
Freeborn Fire Chief Steve Siepp and a representative from the state fire marshal's office investigated the explosion on Monday morning.
Siepp said they concluded that sewer gas from an uncapped line had backed into the house, and the gas was ignited when Ralph William Yotter, 75, came into the house and turned on a light switch.
Yotter suffered burns to his face and body and remained in serious condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul Monday afternoon.
Yotter and his wife, Patricia, had been mowing the grass around the house, and Patricia was standing outside at the time of the explosion. According to authorities, the Yotters had recently sold the property and were awaiting closing. They were not living there at the time of the explosion.
Patricia Yotter did not suffer any burns but was treated for other injuries and released from Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.
Firefighters from Freeborn, Alden, Hartland and Manchester battled the blaze, which destroyed the house.