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An explosion is believed to have started this Elk River townhome fire.

Elk River Police and Fire were called at about 1:30 p.m. on March 22 to 10800 block of 181st Lane Northwest for a townhouse fire.

A 40 year-old Elk River man who lives nearby reported the fire.

He told the Star News he heard a loud bang and went to investigate.  He saw his teenage neighbor come running out of the house in just his shorts saying the house of was on fire.

The neighbor asked if anyone was inside and called 911. The burned victim said he was the only one.

“I thought there was a fight or something,” the neighbor said of his initial thought. “When I first saw him I thought he looked beat up.”

He soon realized there had been an explosion and  the individual was badly burned. The youth was transported to a hospital with burn-related injuries.

Elk River Police had been to this same home on March 19 to execute a search warrant on the residence, according to Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz.

In response to the Star News question about whether it was drug related, Kluntz said the warrant was not drug related but related to an unrelated criminal investigation.

Kluntz said that matter remains an ongoing investigation and he could not go into greater detail since it was still an active case.

Kluntz said on the morning of March 23 he did not know what exploded, and the fire marshal had not ruled on anything.

The teenager who was burned remained hospitalized, Kluntz said.

An on-call detective responded to the scene to process the scene.

Firefighters extinguished the fire.

Check back later for more on this story.

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