LAKEVILLE, MN – Corey Pierson had just fallen asleep late Friday, his wife, son and newborn twin daughters already in bed before him. A few houses away, Debbie Newton was watching a hockey game on her laptop.
Suddenly their Lakeville neighborhood erupted.
“I mean a huge boom that I’ve never experienced before, and I’m going ’What the hell has happened?’” said Newton.
“It sounded like a bomb. I thought my car exploded,” Pierson said.
His locked front door and garage service door were blown open. Rushing to his front window, he could see debris in trees and on roofs.
A food truck parked on the block had blown apart, showering the street with metal and glass and damaging up to 20 homes. Only the steering wheel, driver’s seat and part of the truck’s chassis remained in place — the vehicle’s fenders and its metal sides were blown into neighbors’ yards. Insulation and shards of metal dangled from trees. Bread rolls were scattered on the melting snow.
Investigators were still working Saturday to determine the precise cause of the blast, although their focus was on the cooking gas stored in the Motley Crews Heavy Metal Grill food truck.
The truck had been parked in the driveway of a house in the 16500 block of Joplin Path shared by Motley Crews owner Marty Richie, and his partner, Lisa. The couple were 1986 classmates at Kennedy High School in Bloomington who reunited on Facebook in 2009. They have been planning to open a storefront location in Lakeville on June 1, according to the website heavytable.com, an industry blog.
“Everybody is OK, and that’s what counts,” said Richie, who learned about the explosion moments after it happened Friday night. “Nobody knows what happened.”
Authorities responded to the scene about 11:30 p.m., the explosion having been heard for miles around. Lakeville police received more than 80 phone calls regarding the blast, with reports from as far away as Farmington.
The explosion shook nearby homes, shattered windows, snapped 2-by-4s in garages, blew open doors and rattled dishes and other items from shelves and off walls. Residents startled from their sleep ran blinking outside to see their neighbor’s food truck nearly obliterated.
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A fundraising page has been set up for the owner of a Lakeville-based food truck that exploded Friday night.
A friend of the food truck’s owner set up the Go Fund Me page Saturday morning. By Saturday evening, it had raised nearly $3,200 of its $15,000 goal.