Husband and wife pulled from home after fire, collapse reported

Kennith Bogan

An explosion of unknown origins destroyed a home in Hopkins Wednesday morning, resulting in the death of the couple who lived in the home. 

At 10:15 a.m. on July 27, an explosion could be heard “from 8-15 blocks away,” according to authorities who responded to the scene to find a residence at 210 21st Ave. N completely collapsed and on fire.

An explosion leveled a house in Hopkins on Wednesday.

The two victim homeowners, later identified as Sharon and Herb Vassar – a husband and wife believed to be in their 80s, were taken from the scene by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner. The family was at the scene Wednesday afternoon.

house explosion

Aerial shot of the remains of a house following an explosion.  (FOX 9)

According to authorities, at this time it is unknown what caused the explosion, but 15-20 agencies responded, including the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety and CenterPoint Energy. The Vassar’s family told FOX 9 they were working on a home improvement project the day before the explosion. 

CenterPoint Energy was on the scene all day checking for leaking throughout the neighborhood and believe it was isolated to just the Vassar’s house.

“This is a heartbreaking day for the City of Hopkins and our residents. This is a tight-knit community and we don’t have strangers. This is a deeply personal day in our city,” said Hopkins Mayor Patrick Hanlon at a press conference Wednesday evening. “As you can see from all the folks out here offering services to their neighbors, we’re grateful for the response that everybody has had.”

According to Hanlon, Chick-fil-A dropped off 150 sandwiches as a courtesy to responders working onsite all day.

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