CLEVELAND, N.D.-Two people were hurt in a house explosion in Cleveland Saturday morning, April 21.
Stutsman County Sheriff's Deputy Dan White said Thomas Arens and his son, Daniel, were inside the home at 527 3rd Ave. N. in Cleveland when an explosion occurred. White said the two men were able to get out of the house. He said there were about 15 pets in the house at the time of the explosion.
All that was left of the house as of Saturday afternoon was a chimney with part of a roof gutter attached and the house's exposed basement.
Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager and 911 coordinator, said Medina Ambulance Service transported the men, later identified as Thomas and Daniel Arens, to Jamestown Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries.
Katie Ryan-Anderson, JRMC marketing manager, said neither man signed a disclosure form so no information about either man's medical condition or location will be released.
White said some of the animals were taken to a veterinarian in Steele for treatment. He said he didn't know if any of the animals died as a result from the fire. White said the pets were mainly dogs.
Cleveland Fire Chief Bob Grabinger said the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on the scene around 10:20 a.m. He said firefighters had to wait for the power and natural gas to the house to be cut off before fighting the fire.
Workers with Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. arrived on scene around 11:25 a.m., but weren't able to get the natural gas shut off until about 2:30 p.m.
Laura Leuder, an MDU spokesperson, said the workers had difficulty getting to the shut-off value due to the ground being frozen.
Grabinger said a state fire marshal was at the scene later Saturday afternoon and would return Sunday morning. He said he wouldn't speculate on what caused the fire until the fire marshal's investigation is completed.
Bergquist said Otter Tail Power Co. and the American Red Cross were also sent to the scene. He said it is suspected the explosion was caused by a natural gas build up somewhere in the house and that most of the windows in the house were blown out.