Reporting Reg Chapman
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A mother and her three daughters will need lots of surgeries and rehabilitation after their house exploded over the weekend.
“It’s hard, you don’t ever expect anything like this to happen,” said fiancé Troy Haugen.
Haugen was not at home when the explosion injured his fiancée, Sonja Timmons, and her three daughters.
They were transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where Haugen has been by their side.
The explosion and fire happened Saturday morning in the town of Tracy which is in southwestern Minnesota.
Haugen says he cannot thank his neighbor enough, for risking his life to save his 2-month-old daughter Jaden.
Haugen has been at Regions for the past two days, praying for signs of healing from his fiancée, two biological daughters and soon to be step-daughter.
An emotional and exhausted Haugen fought back tears as he described what was going on inside his home before an explosion changed everything.
“I got up and it was a normal morning, Kaylee and McKenna were up so I had them go in the bedroom and watch TV until their mom got up,” Haugen said.
Haugen says he went to work and knew nothing about an explosion until he heard reports over a police scanner.
“We have a scanner at work and we were listening over the scanner and it came over there a house across from my neighbor blew up. We didn’t know what house it was. I tried to call my girlfriend and I couldn’t get a hold of her,” he said.
He learned the bad news on his way out the door.
“So I was leaving work her cousin called me and told me my house had blew up,” Haugen said.
The explosion could be felt along Elm Street in Tracy.
Shattered glass flew across the street and curtains from the living room were lodged in the trees that lined the front yard.
Haugen’s neighbor, Matt Schon, met his fiancée Kaylee and McKenna outside and ran inside to save 2-month-old Jaden.
“Wait, that’s about all I can do is wait,” Haugen said.
Haugen says he has been waiting for a something good to happen and it came last night by way of his 8-year-old step daughter Kaylee.
“Kaylee started to open her eyes last night so she’s getting better slowly,” said Haugen.
Kaylee and mom Sonja are in critical condition. Jaden is in good condition, 2-year-old McKenna is in serious condition and all are looking at multiple surgeries and months of rehab.
A fund has been set up to help the Timmons family. Donations can be made to “Timmons Family Fund” at all MinnWest Bank locations, or to:
Sonja Timmons and Family Fund
First Independent Bank
108 3rd St.
Balaton, MN 56115