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Menno Woman Dies In House Explosion

August 24, 2010, 1:07 AM by Ben Dunsmoor

Menno Woman Dies In House Explosion
MENNO, SD - One woman is dead and at least two others are injured after a house explosion in Menno. Authorities say a natural gas leak caused the blast that sent flames shooting into the sky.

A smoke filled sky and a house that's been turned into rubble is all that remains after the explosion rattled the small town.

"Just this loud loud bang almost like a vibration, like an earthquake," Menno resident Galen Guthmiller said. 


"I live completely on the other side of town and I was in bed and it stood me straight up in bed," Menno Fire Chief John Huber said. 

The blast happened around 10:30p.m. It leveled one home, killing the woman who lived inside. The homes on both sides of the house were damaged and debris was scattered across town.

"I live on the other side of town and my wife says she picked up a pillow that was on the other side of town," Huber said. 

A board from the home pierced through the top of a camper across the street where a construction worker has been staying.

"I looked up and I saw a 2x4 or a 1x8 sticking through my roof and I thought more was coming," construction worker Daniel Barse said. 

The blast was so powerful that a large chunk of roof blew off and landed 100 feet from the home. The woman who lived in the home grew up in Menno and was well known around town. Guthmiller knew her well.

"It's something you hope never happens, yet it happened right here, and you just trust God that things go right with the family," Guthmiller said. 

And now the town of Menno is left to pick up the pieces of a blast that has shaken the small South Dakota town.

Fire officials say they could smell and hear the natural gas leaking when they pulled up to the home. The state fire marshal will be on scene to investigate Tuesday.

The name of the victim is not being released at this point.

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