Explosion, fire destroys Houghton apartment building

HOUGHTON — An apartment building in Houghton was destroyed after an explosion and structure fire early Sunday morning, though there were only minor injuries.

The fire was reported at 1:27 a.m. at the apartment building next to the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce building on College Avenue, the Houghton Police Department said. The Houghton Fire Department was also called to the scene.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. One bystander who had been in the building reported hearing a loud bang before the fire.

All eight residents were OK, though many had to escape without even socks or shoes, the Salvation Army said on its Facebook page.

Six people were evacuated from the residence, the Houghton Police Department said in a release. Two people were taken to the UP Health System – Portage emergency room for minor injuries.

Semco Energy was called to the scene. Nearby homes were evacuated for safety and gas lines were shut off until further investigations are complete and the area is made safe.

The Houghton Fire Department was assisted by surrounding fire departments, Michigan Tech Public Safety and Hancock Police Department. Pigs N Heat was on scene to help with emergency needs as well as Salvation Army and The Red Cross, who will continue with needed assistance.

The Salvation Army in Hancock is accepting donations at facebook.com/TheSalvationArmyHancockMI. It will post needed sizes for clothing as they become available.

A GoFundMe for Albert and Debbie Aguilar, who lived in the building, is at gofundme.com/f/house-explosion-fire.


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