Furnace installed hours before house exploded

Furnace installed hours before house exploded
iStock / JaniceRichard

Fire officials in Chippewa County say a furnace had been installed in a house under construction just hours before an explosion destroyed the structure.

The blast Monday night leveled the three-story house being built on Long Lake near New Auburn. Authorities say the blast was so strong it damaged homes up to a-half mile away. New Auburn Fire Chief Thomas Bishel tells WQOW-TV there had to be a tremendous amount of gas in the house to cause such a powerful explosion.

Pat Boettcher lives next door. She says she’s grateful her family wasn’t home at the time of the explosion because her living room is in pieces.

Bischel says investigators will continue to investigate what caused the gas leak that they suspect triggered the explosion. Officials say it caused extensive damage to at least six other homes.