Explosion Flattens Vacant Minneapolis 4-Plex In Foreclosure; Copper Pipe Theft Triggered Gas Leak, Says Local Utility
- Two signs of a struggling economy combined to create an explosion that rocked a North Minneapolis neighborhood. The blast flattened a 4-plex in the 2400 block of Golden Valley Road on Sunday. The building was in foreclosure and vacant, and CenterPoint Energy said a copper pipe theft led to the explosion. "It was probably somebody over there trying to steal copper and pull copper over there that set the gas leak off, that was my first think I thought," said Jackie Jackson, who manages the apartments across the street. She reported problems to police, and the building was boarded up, but that didn't stop the copper thieves -- or the explosion.
- CenterPoint Energy said it's seeing more copper thefts and more related accidents. The company asked neighbors to be particularly aware of the smell, sight or sound of natural gas. "If you can smell it in your house or when you're walking in the area get a safe distance away where you can no longer smell it and then call CenterPoint Energy to report it, because any spark could ignite," said CenterPoint spokesperson Becca Virden. The problem is affecting neighborhoods across the Twin Cities.