By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One person was killed and a man and a woman were injured in a home explosion Thursday afternoon north of the Twin Cities.

Princeton police say it happened just after noon on the 1000 block of 8th Avenue North. First responders arrived to find a collapsed home fully engulfed in flames.

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A 39-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man both suffered intense burns and other injuries in the blast, while a third victim was found dead after the fire was put out. Family members later identified him as Eugene Meyer, and the survivors were his granddaughter and son.

The explosion occurred at the home where Dennis Marquardt grew up, and where his stepfather Eugene still lived — until everything changed in an instant.

“My dad was always caring,” Marquardt said. “If you need help for anything, yeah, my dad would be right there for us.”

Joshua Lamb is credited with helping save the survivors. He said he was doing the dishes at his girlfriend’s house across the street when the explosion happened. He thought it was may have been an earthquake due to how much the house shook.

(credit: CBS)

“I looked outside and I saw a mushroom cloud across the street and I knew that they were in trouble,” Lamb said. “Just happened to be at the right place at the right time that these people needed help.”

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He said he ran across the street and pulled the two-badly hurt adults out from the rubble. The home’s walls were blown more than 100 feet away.

“The heat was intense, I noticed that right away, but I put that out of my mind because these people were more important than my own life,” Lamb said. “I had to get in there as fast as I could.”

He said both of the victims were in shock.

“When I got both of them away from the house, they just kept mumbling over and over that there was a third person, there was a third person, Dad or Grandpa didn’t make it, so I tried to enter the house again but by that time it was too late,” Lamb said. “I could not find the other person and I feel really bad about that.”

Family members say they expect the hospital to release at least one of the survivors Thursday night. The other’s condition is unknown.

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The State Fire Marshal’s Office and CenterPoint Energy inspected the gas line to look for clues as to why the explosion happened. The cause is still unknown.

Jeff Wagner