Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gas leak in Minnesota destroys home, worker auguring sewer line hurt

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A home here was a total loss after a sewer worker using an auger ruptured a natural gas line and a fire started. St. Paul firefighters had to soaked the home at 2014 Villard St.
Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said natural gas was drawn through a sewer line into the house where it found an ignition source in the basement.
The man responsible for the accident was treated for burns and released.
A homeowner in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood had hired the worker to auger out her sewer line.
A few hours later the house burned to a total loss, dozens of nearby houses had o be evacuated because of the gas leak and city Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard was reflecting on how much worse it could have been.
Firefighters who responded to the fire about midmorning found the homeowner and her two dogs safe, Zaccard said, but raced from the house
when they discovered it was filling with natural gas.
Extinguishing the fire right away, he said, could have resulted in a bigger gas buildup and a massive explosion.
The sewer worker suffered burns on his face and was taken to Regions
Hospital but released later on Feb.1, the chief said. The homeowner
escaped safely. He said he couldn't identify either person.

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