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Two hurt in 'mini explosion' at Viking Auto

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Farmington, 55024
Farmington Independent
651-463-7730 customer support
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Two men were injured in a small explosion at a Farmington business Tuesday afternoon.

The Farmington Fire Department was called to Viking Auto Salvage in Castle Rock Township around 4:30 p.m. According to fire marshal John Powers, two employees there, Hugo Noar Martinez, 39, and Yair Chavez-Hernadez, 33, were using cutting torches to dismantle an automobile.

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However, the car had an apparent gasoline leak, Powers said. The fumes from the gasoline ignited the cutting torch, causing a quick flash of fire, a sort of "mini-explosion," Powers said.

Both of the employees were injured in the accident. Injuries ranged from first to third degree burns on the hands, arms and legs of each man.

Farmington fire/rescue personnel were on the scene for about an hour, Powers said, treating the two victims and clearing the gasoline from the area. The victims were transported to the Northfield Hospital for assessment. The Northfield ambulance service initially transported the victims to Northfield. Powers did not know Tuesday night whether either victim would have to be transferred to another location for treatment.

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and is the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
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