ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Firefighters battled a blaze Saturday evening at the scene of a possible house explosion and fire in St. Paul’s Riverview neighborhood.
It happened on the corner of Hall Avenue and Baker Street West.
Officials say a man was found outside the home by neighbors and was treated by crews on scene. He was then taken to the hospital.
Neighbors gave WCCO the name of the potential victim. A man by that man is listed in fair condition at Regions.
Neighbors say they heard a loud boom just after 2 p.m. Saturday.
“I heard like a big explosion, so I ran over this way to like see what happened and then all of a sudden in less than a minute there was full out fire,” said Jakob Raines, 15, who was in the area at the time. “Then I heard, ‘Help me, help me’ on the side. An elderly man yelling and screaming, ‘Help.'”
“I was just yelling, ‘Get him out of there, get him out of there!'” neighbor John Bueno added. “I thought it was a car accident, but then I heard everyone screaming that the place is on fire.”
Neighbors say a few people helped get the elderly man who lives there away from the house.
“I had him on my shoulder like I put his arm on my shoulder so I could help him cross the street,” Raines said. “I helped him across the street with someone else.”
Raines said the man had serious burns. Neighbors knew the homeowner well and said he has lived there for a long time. He currently lives alone with his cat. The cat is still unaccounted for.
A home exploded in St. Paul’s Railroad Island neighborhood less than five months ago.
The St. Paul Fire Department is working with investigators, Xcel Energy and St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections to determine the stability of the structure.
Authorities say the house is “fairly unstable” as of Saturday evening. Homes in the surrounding area have electricity after it was briefly shut off as a precaution. None of the surrounding homes appear to be damaged.
No other injuries were reported.