Copper theft causes Minneapolis building to explode
The Star Tribune reported that a vacant North Minneapolis fourplex exploded Sunday morning because of a natural gas leak caused by copper theft.
No injuries were reported, but a neighbor reported that she heard people moving around the building around 2 a.m.
Rene Hatchett, a neighbor, smelled gas when she woke up in the morning.
Her downstairs neighbor, Charmaine Brown, also smelled the gas and tried to call Minneapolis 311 but did not have the 50 cents to make the call.
Brown said she smelled gas to the point that it made her nauseous, but did not call 911 because she did not think that it was an emergency.
Hatchett said she was cooking when the vacant house exploded and shattered her windows. She said she thought it was an earthquake.
Residents are supposed to make sure the gas is shut off when the leave for a long period of time, according to Minneapolis police, and this house had been put on the market two months ago.