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Published July 10, 2012, 08:45 PM

Man survives house explosion in Vergas

Vergas, MN (WDAY TV) -- When you look at 67 year old Peter Hansen of rural Vergas, you wonder what guardian angel helped him survive a house explosion and fire that leveled his home.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Vergas, MN (WDAY TV) -- When you look at 67 year old Peter Hansen of rural Vergas, you wonder what guardian angel helped him survive a house explosion and fire that leveled his home.

It happened at Hansen's hobby farm, where he had been working the last year remodeling his retirement dream home.

Peter Hansen not only lived to talk about it, he remembers everything about the explosion. He had just finished mowing the yard, and was in the shower when his world came crashing down around him.

Peter Hansen – Survived Explosion: "I just heard a big explosion, and the shower enclosure disappeared on me and the walls were tipping over. I knew I had to get out."

It was miraculous enough that Peter survived the explosion, but the next dilemma was trying to escape his burning home.

Peter Hansen: "The front door was collapsed and had to push my way through to get out of it, so it was a matter of, ‘let's get out of here.’"

The explosion rocked the house, trapping Peter, who walked out of the shower and could not even get to his bedroom to put pants on – but he did find a pair of underwear.

Peter Hansen: “They were hanging right there beside me. Luckily there they were, so I figured I’d better put these on before running out.”

Peter has spent the last year remodeling his dream retirement farm home. Today the Minnesota State Fire Marshalls began sifting through what remained. Walls blew out; parts of the house flew nearly a football field away. Those who arrived on scene could not believe the damage, and the fact Peter survived.

Jeff Zitzow - Vergas Fire Chief: "It amazed me too. I thought it was just a passerby standing in shorts but then I looked and they were his undershorts. I said, ‘Anybody else in there’ and he said, ‘No, it’s just me, I was taking a shower.’ Same thing, I could not believe he was standing there talking to us."

The chief says had Peter been in another room at the time, there is a good chance he wouldn't have survived the blast and fire.

Peter Hansen: "A fluke and lucky I walked away from it."

Peter's billfold, car keys, hunting guns and camera were all lost in the explosion and fire. The cause is not yet known.

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