UPDATED: Multiple Departments Called to Explosion, Fire at Rogers Apartment Complex

A fireball was visible miles away after a propane tank apparently blew up nearby.

UPDATE (9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6): Rogers Police and Fire Department leaders told media outlets late Sunday the cause of the explosion near the Preserve apartment complex was the engagement of a propane-fueled, auxiliary heating unit. The unit was pushed into service Sunday because of the bitter cold. 

The explosion happened away from the complex, but shattered windows and cracked walls. Several residents told authorities they were either knocked out of bed or to their knees by the force of the blast, which sent flames five stories high, according to photos captured by those nearby. 

Ten to 12 units will have to have repairs, the apartment complex management staff said. Many returned to their units last night, but several will remain with either families or in a nearby hotel. 

The fuel valve was turned off nearly 45 minutes after the initial blast. Several fireballs were seen, but no one was hurt. 

The State Fire Marshal and Center Point Energy are investigating what might have caused the initial blast. 

* * * 

Multiple fire departments from Hennepin and Wright counties, including St. Michael Fire, were paged to the scene of an explosion and ensuing fire at an apartment complex in Rogers, MN, early Sunday morning.

According to scanner reports obtained by Patch contributor Police Clips, there were reports of multiple explosions at the Preserve at Commerce, which near the Wellstead senior complex at the Rogers Family 18 Theaters. 

Temperatures at the time of the fire were around 10 degrees below zero (Farenheit), with wind chill factors at around 25 below. 

The blast shattered some windows of nearby buildings and caused structural damages. 

Police, fire and media on scene are reporting no injuries related to the explosion, which was traced to a nearby propane tank and generator. 

Residents were evacuated for safety purposes to a nearby Hampton Inn motel and the Rogers movie theater. 

Patch will have more on this story as it develops. 


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