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Authorities pinpoint cause of deadly Hopkins house explosion

The Hopkins Fire Department says the cause of the July 27 explosion involved an unattached gas line in the home.
Credit: Madison Schae Thomas
Hopkins house explosion

HOPKINS, Minn. — Authorities say they have found the cause of a Hopkins house explosion that killed an elderly couple last month. 

Through an investigation, the Hopkins Fire Department and Minnesota State Fire Marshal found that the house's water heater was recently replaced and a gas line was left unattached after the installation. This allowed for a gas leak in the house that ultimately ignited and caused the explosion. 

Officials say the cause of the ignition is unknown, "as natural gas can be ignited by many sources including light switches, static electricity or pilot lights," according to a press release. The fire is being deemed an accident. 

On July 27, first responders were called to the area of 2nd Street North and 21st Avenue North after reports of a house explosion and fire. A husband and wife were found dead inside their home. Family members identified them as 85-year-old Herb Vassar and 83-year-old Sharon Vassar. 

Hopkins Fire Chief Dale Specken said no gas leaks were found on the exterior of the house. The rest of the area was checked by Centerpoint Energy, who said there are no other gas leaks or related issues in the surrounding houses. 

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