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Published September 16, 2012, 04:06 PM

Mother, 3 children injured after Minn. explosion

TRACY, Minn. (AP) — A mother and three children were injured when their house exploded over the weekend in southwestern Minnesota.

TRACY, Minn. (AP) — A mother and three children were injured when their house exploded over the weekend in southwestern Minnesota.

Neighbor Matt Schons said he saw the mother right after Saturday morning's explosion in Tracy, and he said she told him it happened when she went to light her cigarette.

" 'All of a sudden, boof! Just engulfed in flames,' " he quoted her as saying.

Schons and his wife, Sheena Schons, told WCCO-TV they were awoken by glass shattering and looked out the window and saw their neighbor's living room was ablaze.

Sheena Schons called 911. Matt Schons saw the 7-year-old daughter run out the front door screaming for help and he ran over. He then saw the mother, Sonia Timmons, run out clutching her 2-year-old daughter.

He said she told him a baby was still inside, so he made his way through thick smoke looking for the 2-month-old.

"After I found where the crib was at, I picked the baby up and then it started to cry," he said.

The explosion was reported at about 9 a.m. Saturday, according to Tracy Fire Chief Dale Johnson III. The house was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

The family is being treated at a St. Paul hospital, where the mother was in critical condition Sunday. The children's conditions were not being released.

The cause is still under investigation. A message left Sunday for the fire chief was not immediately returned.

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