Even though his house exploded around him Tuesday, Ben Kuklok of Royalton suffered only minor burns and is reported in fair condition today at St. Cloud Hospital.
About 5:20 a.m. the Morrison County Sheriff's Department received an emergency call of an explosion at 711 N. Birch St. in Royalton.
Upon arrival, emergency workers found Kuklok walking around the remains of his house. He had suffered minor burns and was startled, said Royalton Police Chief Jeff VanGrinsven.
"He was part of the debris when he came out," said VanGrinsven, who said it was a miracle Kuklok escaped with only the injuries he did. He was transported by Gold Cross Ambulance to St. Cloud Hospital.
Surrounding homes were evacuated but none were damaged even though the blast could be felt and heard throughout Royalton.
"That's the ironic thing. You look around and there's no windows damaged, anything," said VanGrinsven.
Kuklok's house was totaled and blown apart. Firefighters put out a small fire at the residence.
VanGrinsven said even though Kuklok's house didn't have gas service, it is believed the explosion was caused by a gas leak from a nearby line into his home.
"It definitely seeped in through the ground, through cracks in the ground, into the house," he said.
VanGrinsven advised people that if they do smell gas or suspect a gas leak to not turn on lights, use appliances or the telephone. Instead people should leave the house immediately and call their gas company or 911.
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