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Stalled Car Sparked Dell Rapids Fire

June 11, 2014, 11:36 AM by Ben Dunsmoor

Stalled Car Sparked Dell Rapids Fire
Courtesy: Gregg Bartling


A stalled car near a gas leak ignited the fire in Dell Rapids Tuesday.

The fire burned for more than five hours near Saint Mary's School, while crews worked to cap off the gas line that was fueling the flames.

Witnesses Describe Dell Rapids Gas Leak 

Authorities say GoldenWest Communications, which provides cable, phone, and internet for Dell Rapids, was boring underground and hit the gas line.

A nearby homeowner was trying to restart his stalled car when the leak ignited.

"He unfortunately stalled right over that gas leak,” Captain Paul Niedringhaus with the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office said. “When he started the ignition again this is what caused the explosion and he subsequently had a wall of flames five feet tall all around his vehicle."

The driver only had singed hair and eyebrows and minor burns and fortunately walked away without any major injuries.

MidAmerican Energy crews are working to repair the gas line.

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