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Apr-03-2014 15:41printcomments

Explosion at Ernst Irrigation Rocks St. Paul

"I heard a very loud boom when I was coming out to my car" - witness, Mark Winder

Lifeflight
Photo by Jerry Freeman Salem-News.com

(ST. PAUL) - Firefighters in Saint Paul called for a Life Flight helicopter after responding to an emergency at Ernst Irrigation where an apparent industrial fire broke out. The Life Flight was eventually canceled, and the patient was transported to the hospital by ground ambulance.

Fire officials confirmed that an explosion occurred and one man was injured. The blast and fire happened at Ernst Irrigation, 20179 Main Street.

    "I heard a very loud boom when I was coming out to my car"

A witness, Mark Winder, said, there was a very loud boom when he was outside opening his car door. "I saw lots of flames coming out of the building, so I took off running down the street, and one of the people from Ernst came out and I said, 'call 911'. There were some people down inside of the building and there were a lot of flames at first."

Winder says the intense flames lasted for about sixty seconds.

"One man was laying down on the ground, I didn't really want to go over there, there was too much commotion going on."

He says the fire department arrived quickly.

"I Saw flames coming out of the side and the front, coming out of the building."

Winder added, "The explosion was very loud, shook the house, made me jump really bad."

A city official confirmed upon arrival that there was a structure fire with smoke showing... possibly an oil fire.

Salem-News.com's Jerry Freeman is on scene, and we will bring you images and more information from this incident later today.

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Anonymous April 4, 2014 4:47 am (Pacific time)

PRAYERS FOR THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THE MAN INJURED IN THE EXPLOSSION. I HOPE HE WILL BE OK.

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