Explosion levels home; owner, in driveway, unhurt

September 14, 2014

GENOA - A Genoa-area man was not injured in the recent explosion and fire that leveled his home, although he said he lost nearly every possession he owned.

Roger Beck, a commercial fisherman, was in his driveway when he heard an explosion Friday around 6 a.m., a news outlet reported.

"I thought it was my battery blowing up," he said. "Then I saw it was my kitchen."

The kitchen had caught fire and the 76-year-old tried to douse the flames with a bucket. But as he was walking away, the rest of the two-story home exploded. Firefighters arrived to find the house flattened and on fire.

The blast sprayed debris onto a nearby highway. An outbuilding that had served as a fish market was heavily damaged, and Beck's pickup truck, which was parked in the driveway, was scorched.

"I'm gonna get a new truck," Beck joked. "It won't start."

He said he suspects a propane leak was to blame. Stoddard-Bergen Fire Chief Joe Pfaff said the cause was still under investigation

Beck, who has fished commercially on the Mississippi River for more than 60 years, said he lost everything except his fishing boat.

"I started with a boat," he said, "and ended with a boat."


Associated Press