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Fourplex explosion caused by copper-piping thieves

A vacant Minneapolis fourplex exploded around 10:30 a.m. Sunday due to copper-piping theft that led to a natural gas leak, The Star Tribune and Kare 11 News reported.

The building, 2407 Golden Valley Road, had been abandoned and boarded up for about a year. There were no injuries.

According to Becca Virden, a spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy, a company supervisor determined the cause of the explosion with Minneapolis Fire Department investigators.

Charmaine Brown, who lives in the duplex next door, smelled the gas but said she did not call 911 because she didn’t think it was an emergency.

Rene Hatchett, the other resident of the duplex, was cooking when the building exploded, shattering her windows.

After being thrown back several feet, Brown and her children evacuated the duplex.

The two families were relocated by the American Red Cross.