Injured in an explosion?
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Elliot Olsen is a nationally respected explosion lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member were injured in a West Side explosion and believe negligence played a part, you might have cause to file an explosion lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
Home explosions occur far too frequently in the United States. They’re simply unavoidable.
Set a Google alert for “home explosion,” and your inbox will be inundated with updates.
Here is a look at two recent home explosions just in St. Paul, Minnesota:
West Side explosion
severely injures man, 74
From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: A West Side explosion Saturday afternoon left a St. Paul man severely injured.
Israel Melendez was cleaning his truck outside his home on St. Paul’s West Side at about 2 p.m. when he heard an explosion. He looked up and saw flames and debris falling around a house on the corner of Hall Avenue and West Baker Street where Michael L. Schultz, 74, lives by himself.
Melendez, 48, said he ran to the large stucco house accompanied by another neighbor, Paul Warner, 53. They tried to get the door open but couldn’t. So Melendez said he broke through the window on the first floor and stepped inside, where he saw Schultz lying on the living room floor.
Melendez and Warner were able to get Schultz out through the window. “There were flames everywhere,” Melendez said.
Warner told friends and relatives that he could feel the heat of the fire on the back of his neck as he pulled Schultz away from the house.
Schultz was taken to St. Paul’s Regions Hospital, where he was in fair condition Saturday evening.
West Side explosion:
Much of roof gone
When St. Paul firefighters arrived, they found the house “heavily on fire,” said assistant fire chief Matthew Simpson. It took 60 firefighters about 20 minutes to knock down the flames, which burned through much of the roof.
Simpson said Melendez and Warner “absolutely” risked their lives to save Schultz: “This is a sincere definition of courage.”
The cause of the explosion has not been determined, but neighbors speculated that it might have been caused by a gas leak due to the recent installation of some appliances. Xcel Energy workers were on the scene inspecting other homes on the block. No other structures were damaged.
West Side explosion:
Quiet life for “Sarge”
Warner’s mother, Harriet Barriault, speculated that Schultz didn’t immediately flee because he was looking for his cat, Tootsie. “It’s a good thing my son was here, or Mike might not be here today,” Barriault said.
Another neighbor, Steve Cardenas, said Schultz – whom neighbors called “Sarge” – was retired and lived quietly with his cat, occasionally going to the corner bar for a beer at happy hour.
West Side explosion
all too familiar
Saturday’s West Side explosion was the second home explosion in St. Paul in the past year. Last November, an explosion on the 600 block of Payne Avenue – less than five miles north of Saturday’s explosion – sent John Lundahl, 80, to the hospital. He died of his injuries a few weeks later.
A number of people who live nearby saw or heard the explosion. Jerry Schaefer, who had just opened his nearby floral shop, Jerry’s Roses, said he was looking out his front window when the explosion happened. He said the explosion sounded like a sonic boom, knocking merchandise off shelves and rattling windows, and he said he saw flames shoot as high as 50 feet.
“It was like a scene out of a movie,” Schaefer said. “It was crazy to see.”
Natasha Mancia, who lives close to the blast, was awake but still in bed when she heard what she thought was a car crashing into her house. “It was nothing I ever heard before,” she said.
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed in fires and explosions. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: