Woman injured in gas explosion Saturday night
BEMIDJI - A woman suffered substantial burns Saturday night when a gas explosion occurred in her residence. The fire was reported at 8:26 p.m. on the 600 block of Bemidji Avenue North. Traffic along Bemidji Avenue was diverted between Sixth and E...
BEMIDJI - A woman suffered substantial burns Saturday night when a gas explosion occurred in her residence.
The fire was reported at 8:26 p.m. on the 600 block of Bemidji Avenue North. Traffic along Bemidji Avenue was diverted between Sixth and Eighth streets northwest until the fire was extinguished.
The Bemidji Fire Department, Bemidji Police Department and Bemidji Ambulance Service responded to the scene. Kevin Mahle, deputy state fire marshal, is now investigating the fire.
The woman, who has not been identified, was taken by Bemidji Ambulance to North Country Regional Hospital and then airlifted to a Twin Cities hospital, Mahle said.
The residence is a larger single-family home that has been converted into an apartment complex.
Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer said there was little fire in the apartment, which is "typical of a gas explosion."
In gas explosions, he explained, there are typically a large boom and a large fireball, but it does not usually result in a large fire.
Mahle said the cause of the fire has been determined to be a leak from a propane torch that was in the woman's bedroom.
The investigation is still underway, so Mahle could not definitively give a reason for the woman's possession of a propane torch, but said she may have been using it to create craft items.
Twenty-seven Bemidji firefighters responded to the scene with four trucks and were on scene for about three hours.
The overall property damage from the fire is relatively minor, Hoefer said.
The Bemidji Pioneer and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.