St. Paul home explosion determined accidental, most likely due to natural gas leak

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The St. Paul Fire Department determined a Nov. 23 home explosion on Payne Avenue that killed one man was accidental and likely stemmed from a natural gas leak inside the home.

80-year-old John Lundahl was inside his home when the explosion occurred. He survived the explosion and subsequent fire and was hospitalized with numerous injuries.

St. Paul Firefighters were credited with saving Lundahl’s life after finding him in a pile of rubble on Nov. 23. He eventually died from his injuries in December.

In its report, St. Paul Fire said it expects some static electricity or an arc from an electrical circuit ignited the explosion, but they say it is impossible to identify an exact ignition source.

The department added that no other items could have produced such a high-grade explosion other than natural gas.

Xcel Energy and the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety determined the gas supply outside the home passed all tests. Xcel also said the average gas flow increased the day before and the day of the incident.