BIG LAKE, Minn. - A Big Lake man is fortunate to be alive after an explosion and fireball obliterated his home Monday afternoon.

Police say the man was at his residence on the 100 block of Hiawatha around 12:20 p.m. when he noticed a strong smell of gas. He was scrambling to get out when the home exploded in a ball of flames, a powerful blast that was felt blocks away. Phones at the Sherburne County Sheriff's office were ringing off the hook with calls from people reporting the blast.

A man escaped the home just before it exploded. 
A man escaped the home just before it exploded. 

Two Big Lake Police Reserve Officers were on patrol nearby and responded to the scene. Those officers and several residents ran to the aid of the resident until paramedics arrived and transported the victim to Hennepin County Medical Center. First indications are that his injuries are not life-threatening.

By the time fire crews from Big Lake and Monticello arrived a huge fireball was consuming the home that had exploded. 
By the time fire crews from Big Lake and Monticello arrived a huge fireball was consuming the home that had exploded. 

The Big Lake and Monticello fire departments arrived on scene and were able to extinguish the blaze, but not before the home and two vehicles were destroyed.

Chief of Police Joel Scharf said he heard there were pets inside the home at the time of the explosion, however none were seen while crews were at the scene.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's office and the Big Lake Fire Department will be sifting through the rubble in an attempt to find the cause of the explosion.