MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You wouldn’t think by looking at the pile of splintered wood and shattered glass that this is where a miracle was made.
“I keep looking up there and expecting some more pieces to start falling,” Dennis Pederson said.
The fact 76-year-old Dennis Pederson is alive is nothing short of miraculous. Tuesday morning, around 8:30, he was feeding his two cats in his basement, where without warning, his Paynesville house was no longer a home.
“Now, I probably would have gotten hurt, seriously hurt because I wouldn’t have been curled up with the cats, and the cats survived,” Pederson said.
Investigators are still trying to determine what went wrong. While likely caused by a natural gas leak, Pederson doesn’t recall even a faint odor in the seconds before.
What he does recall is being surrounded by debris, then crawling out of what had been a basement picture window.
“I got out there and everybody was looking at me and I was like, wow, I guess it was some pretty heavy-duty stuff today,” Pederson said.
He was treated at the scene and released. Not a broken bone, cut, not even a scratch.
“Just kind of crawled out — nothing to it!” Pederson said.
But without a place to live, friends and a daughter will help him find temporary shelter. And hopefully, his other cat.
“I think I’ve got a few, some Gods whatever hanging around,” Pederson added.
Safety experts say it’s rare not to smell natural gas prior to an explosion. They caution anyone who does, to leave a dwelling immediately and call 911.