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‘I thought a bomb had gone off’: 1 dead, 1 injured in Twin Cities-area house explosion

A photographer from the state fire marshall’s office examines the rubble of an explosion that destroyed a house in Hampton Township on Tuesday. Scott Takushi / St. Paul Pioneer Press1 / 2
A Dakota County sheriff’s deputy walks among burned-out vehicles where the house exploded early Tuesday morning, Feb. 5. The cause of the deadly blast remained under investigation. Scott Takushi / St. Paul Pioneer Press2 / 2

HAMPTON, Minn. — A house explosion in Hampton Township on Tuesday morning, Feb. 5, left one person dead and another injured.

Police were called at 6:14 a.m. to on the south side of Hampton, southeast of the Twin Cities. They found a man with severe burns over much of his body wandering the scene saying that he was looking for his wife.

Crews recovered a body from the blast debris just before 9 a.m. Police believe the man and his wife were alone in the home at the time of the explosion, the cause of which remained under investigation.

The Dakota County sheriff’s office said the explosion could be heard as far away as Hastings and Farmington, 12 and 8 miles, respectively.

“It pretty much blew me out of my bed,” said neighbor Joan Bourbeau. “I thought a bomb had gone off.”

She said the power went out and when she looked outside, “the whole sky was orange. The house was completely gone.”

The man was taken to the burn center at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Police are not yet releasing his name or that of the woman who died.

Bourbeau described her neighbor as very friendly.

“He used to help us plow our driveway when our kids were little,” she said.

He’d gotten married later, she said, so she had not gotten to know his wife.