By ASSOCIATED PRESS
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — An explosion Wednesday morning destroyed two houses in the northwest Iowa city of Le Mars and injured three people.
The 6:30 a.m. explosion demolished two adjacent houses and damaged a third house, Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Schipper told the Sioux City Journal.
The three people who were injured were inside or around one of the homes. Two of them were taken to a Le Mars hospital and one was taken to a Sioux City hospital and later transferred to a burn center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Schipper called it “very fortunate" that no one died in the explosion, which he thinks was caused by a gas leak.
The explosion shook homes blocks away and damaged doors and windows, including at a fire station.
Firefighters from Le Mars and the nearby communities of Orange City and Sioux Center helped extinguish the fires. Le Mars is a city of 10,500 about 150 miles northwest of Des Moines.
The explosion came a week after another home explosion hurt three people about 45 miles away in rural Battle Creek.