MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –One woman is dead and another in stable condition after an explosion and fire leveled their River Falls home.
Crews arrived on Monday night to find the house engulfed in flames. The structure eventually collapsed, leaving nothing but rubble.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: MDH Says State Has Seen 14 'Vaccine Breakthrough Cases'
St. Croix gas crews were in the River Falls neighborhood all day going door-to-door, checking gas lines at neighbors’ homes who live along River Hills Road. Those crews could be seen doing underground tests as well, making sure there were no issues with other homes in the area.
Many took time on Tuesday to drive by, looking at what was left from the explosion and fire which claimed the life of one of their neighbors.
“I saw a massive flash and felt my entire house shake,” said Jacob Diel. He was one of the first neighbors who ran outside to see if he could help. He said one of his neighbors had already ran to the aid of the woman inside the home.
“She seemed to be blown into the corner of the house and he managed to find her underneath some rubble and reach in and pull her out of the house and in a manner of minutes afterwards the house collapsed,” Diel said.READ MORE: Clarifying COVID: What Do We Need To Know About The J&J Vaccine?
Martha Gausted was taken to Regions in St. Paul, where she died from her injuries. She was 75 years old.
Her daughter, 42-year-old Kari Gausted is in stable condition, her 18-year-old son was not home when the house exploded.
The family pets – a chocolate lab named Lola and a golden retriever named Rosie – did not make it out of the house alive.
Neighbors are coming together to help this family. “Just trying to help them come back from nothing,” Diel said. They’ve set up an account to raise money so the family can start over again.
While investigators search for the exact cause of this tragedy, this community has vowed to wrap its arms around and comfort the family.
The teen who lived at the home will be staying with a close family friend until his mother is healed.MORE NEWS: After Audio Malfunction, Minnesota H.S. Hockey Ref Belts Out National Anthem
To visit the GoFundMe, click here.
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