CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- 6:45 a.m.
In addition to a completely destroyed home, at least six other homes were impacted by flying debris from a home explosion near New Auburn on Monday night.
New Auburn Fire Chief Thomas Bischel said the explosion, which was called in at about 9:20 p.m., caused no injuries.
The Red Cross is currently helping owners of nearby damaged houses, which were located within an estimated half-mile radius of the explosion. The homeowners are unable to return to their homes after being forced to evacuate following the explosion.
Bischel said the home that exploded was under construction and about two to three months away from completion.
"There was no fire, but we still have to get the (fire) marshals involved to make sure that everything is OK; that there was no foul play," Bischel said. "At this time we are leaning towards it was an accident."
According to Bischel, construction crews were "in the middle of putting in furnaces," so that may have come into play.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
Several of you, our viewers, have been calling into our newsroom saying you heard a big boom, or explosion-type noise in northern Chippewa County.
According to Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk, a home explosion has been confirmed at 28139 State Highway 40 in the Town of Sampson.
It happened at around 9:00 p.m. Monday night.
Crews responded and determined no one was home at the time of the explosion, and no one was hurt.
Deputies say the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but suspect it was gas related, as crews were in the process of installing furnaces earlier in the day. The 3-story house is under construction, and is new. The homeowners live across the street.
The home is a total loss, and at least ten surrounding houses also suffered damage from flying debris.
There is no word yet on the extent of that damage, or how many houses were impacted, and how far away.
Crews shut down Highway 40 in both directions for several hours, but have now opened it to one lane of traffic between 117th ST and Morris-Erickson Park.
The Red Cross is assisting any families in need in the affected area.
WEAU 13 News has a crew on the scene, and will bring you the latest on Hello Wisconsin and weau.com.