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A Brookings home explosion Thursday claimed the life of a man in Brookings, South Dakota, the city’s fire department confirmed.

The Brookings Fire Department was called out just before noon Thursday to 618 Sixth Avenue for an explosion and “active structure fire,” said Fire Chief Darrell Hartmann, who still was at the scene after 5 p.m.

“It’s all under investigation at this point, but we believe it was an accident,” Hartmann told a reporter for the Brookings Register.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the state Division of Criminal Investigation, and the state fire marshal were on site conducting the investigation in conjunction with the Brookings Police Department, Hartmann said.

“They investigate fires, so any time we have something like this, they come with,” Hartmann said. “All the other agencies are here for the investigation. We actually had them coming prior to us finding the victim.”

Brookings home explosion:
Fire fought from outside

Hartmann arrived at the home shortly after the call had gone out. “We did have a heavily involved structure fire,” he said. “When I did my search around the building, did have a portion in the back blown free.”

Hartmann said that because he did not know the structural integrity of the house, firefighters battled the fire from the outside.

“Once we got it pretty well under control, sent crews in all levels,” Hartmann said. “Once we got the smoke lifted, we did find one fatality.”

Brookings home explosion:
Mechanical malfunction cited

The victim has not been identified, but Hartmann confirmed that it was a male who perished.

“Talking to the agents, it appears we had some type of mechanical (malfunction) in the basement on the natural gas line,” Hartmann said. “It started filling at least the basement structure and found an ignition source, and that was the explosion and the seat of the fire.”

According to Hartmann, the initial explosion was at the back of the house.

Brookings home explosion:
More than 40 firefighters

About 42 firefighters were on scene; none were injured, Hartmann said. Apparatus brought to the fire included engines 1-5, ladder, tower, and rescue trucks.

Brookings Ambulance also was there for support of the firefighters. Law enforcement was doing traffic control.

Brookings home explosion results in death of man

Brookings home explosion: An explosion Thursday afternoon claimed the life of a man in Brookings, South Dakota. The victim’s identity has not been released.

Indianapolis tanker explosion:
Good Samaritans to the rescue

Fire and emergency teams responded Thursday afternoon to a tanker truck explosion and large fire on the east side of Indianapolis, where Interstate Highway 70 meets Interstate Highway 465. Officials said a semi tanker hauling 4,000 gallons of jet fuel overturned and dumped fuel on the ramp.

Indiana State Police said the driver of the semi escaped from his truck and was pulled from the flames by good Samaritans.

“Without question, those good Samaritans saved this driver’s life,” Indiana State Patrol Sergeant John Perrine said.

Perrine said the driver was alert and conscious when he was taken from the scene to a nearby hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

Indianapolis Fire Department arrived on scene and controlled the blaze.

The ramp finally reopened around 3 a.m. Friday.

Indianapolis tanker explosion:
Company issues statement

Trucking company Jet Star Inc. released a statement about the crash:

We would like to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support, prayers and concern for our driver Jeffrey “Duke” Denman following yesterday’s tragedy involving one of our trucks on the east side of Indianapolis. We are grateful that no one else was injured or involved. We would also like to offer a heartfelt “thank you” to the brave “Good Samaritan’s” that rushed to aid our driver and help him escape from further harm. We would also like to thank all of the first responders and various public safety agencies involved, firefighters, EMS, EMA, law enforcement and INDOT.

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