Firefighter injured by blast during house fire in northeast Minneapolis

A firefighter was injured by a small explosion that occurred as crews worked to extinguish a house fire in Northeast Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon.  

The firefighter was not seriously injured: the blast left him with minor burn injuries and ringing in his ears. Hennepin Healthcare paramedics took him to the hospital in stable condition, according to a press release from the Minneapolis Fire Department.

Firefighters rescued the resident of the home, who was not injured, according to the release.  

MFD said the incident began at 4:06 p.m when crews responded to a fire at a two-and-a-half-story home on the 2000 block of Grande Avenue in the city's Marshall Terrace neighborhood.

Firefighters encountered a large, "extremely hot fire" in the basement fireplace that had extended to the surrounding wood mantel and wall. Heavy smoke poured from the chimney and roof eaves, the release said.

Crews searched the home, evacuated a resident and laid down fire hoses as they began to extinguish the flames.

According to the release, while fire crews were opening the chimney flue box outside the home, a small "smoke explosion," occurred, injuring the firefighter, who was standing near the chimney.

The release said that the introduction of air to the "flammable, combustible gas-filled smoke built up and trapped" in the home's attic and chimney likely caused the blast, which did minimal damage to the home itself.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.