For Release: 03/12/2008
Representatives of Minnesota Energy Resources have been on the scene of an early morning fire and possible home explosion in the 800 block of 36th Street Southwest since about 4:30 AM. They have turned off the gas service to about 15 homes in the area and are conducting a sweep of the area to detect natural gas. The people have been evacuated by the fire department.
MERC-contracted crews are digging in the area to isolate the natural gas main and shut it off. They expect that to occur around 11:00 AM. The shut-off will affect an additional 10 homes in the area.
The operation to determine and repair any leak will take several hours, possibly all day. The people evacuated will not be allowed to return until MERC and the local authorities are satisfied that a leak, if any, has been repaired and each of the homes have been checked for the presence of any natural gas. MERC employees will relight furnaces and appliances once people have been allowed to return to their homes.