By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – One man is in serious condition after a garage explosion led to a fire in Minneapolis on Saturday.

According to the Minneapolis Fire Department, a garage on the 1000 block of 13th Avenue Southeast was leveled due to an explosion, and a neighboring garage was also on fire.

The fire response was upgraded to a first alarm because of the freezing temperatures and icy conditions.

Shortly after noon, the fire was out, officials said. There was minimal damage to nearby residential homes.

One man was severely burned from the original explosion, and was taken to a hospital by an ambulance. He was found in the back of his pickup truck and is in serious condition.

Neighbors as far as two blocks away say they heard the garage explode.

“It shook our whole house,” said David Blong, who lives across the street. “We thought a tree had hit the side of our house.”

Melanie Rucker, the Minneapolis Fire Department’s assistant chief, says the extreme cold made it difficult on crews because of both the temperature as well as their water freezing.

She says an explosion like this is very rare.

“It could be different reasons why or what happened,” Rucker said. “Something could’ve been inside the garage that caused this.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Xcel Energy has been called to monitor and investigate the incident.

David Schuman