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The remains of a home at 1009 Eighth Avenue N. are pictured on the morning of Friday, July 23. A day earlier, the home exploded as the result of a gas leak inside the Princeton home.

The cause of a July 22 home explosion in Princeton is officially going in the books as “undetermined.”

That’s the word from Princeton Fire Chief Ron Lawrence and Princeton Police Chief Todd Frederick in a joint statement issued Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The police and fire departments have closed their investigation of the midday explosion that killed Eugene Meyer, injured two others, and completely leveled the home. The explosion occurred shortly after noon at a residence at 1009 Eighth Avenue North in Princeton.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office and Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety conducted an investigation into the cause of the explosions. The agency’s findings regarding the cause of the blast were inconclusive.

During their investigation, a natural gas valve which was reported to have supplied gas to a basement clothes dryer was found in the ‘open’ position, according to the statement from the chiefs. It is undetermined if the gas valve was open prior to the explosion. 

The ignition source of the explosion was in area of a gas range in the kitchen on the main floor. It is undetermined as to the exact cause of the explosion, according to the public safety officials.

Family members told the Union-Times on the afternoon of the explosion that new appliances — specifically a washer and dryer — were delivered to the Meyer home earlier in the morning of July 22.

It was when Eugene Meyer turned on the stove shortly after noon to make lunch that the house exploded, family members said.


Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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