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UPDATE: Explosion causes house fire in Alexandria

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Smoke billows out of a house on County Road 22 as Alexandria firefighters work on putting the fire out. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press) 2 / 2

A small explosion from a furnace or water heater caused a house fire at 1351 County Road 22 NW in Alexandria at about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, July 29, according to Alexandria Fire Chief Jeff Karrow.

The homeowners are Steve and Elan Schulke. Karrow said that Steve Schulke was outside when he heard an explosion in the basement and did a "brilliant job" by quickly closing the door, which deprived the fire of oxygen, and then he and ran out of the house to call 911.

No one was inside the house when the fire started.

Firefighters ventilated the house, removed materials that caught fire and connected hoses to a hydrant that was down the driveway and across the road from the house. They also used thermal imaging equipment to track any hot spots from the fire.

Karrow said the damage was kept at a minimum. Karrow estimated the damage at between $20,000 and $30,000.

No injuries were reported.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the Alexandria Police Department set up a detour on County Road 22.

Others that responded to the scene included the North Ambulance and Alexandria Light and Power.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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