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Fire Shoots Down Street, Killing Mother and Daughter

July 8, 1986

MOUNDS VIEW, Minn. (AP) _ A pipeline apparently sprang a leak and flooded a street with gasoline which then caught fire, killing a woman and her 6-year-old daughter today and injuring another person, officials said.

Flames spewed from manhole covers and shot 20 to 30 feet in the air, burning off the top of the pavement as the blast tore down the street in this Twin Cities suburb, witnesses said.

Two hundred people were evacuated from their homes as a precaution.

The fires were reported out by 7:30 a.m., but City Manager Don Pauley said gasoline had gotten into the storm sewer system and fire department officials were checking sewer lines to guard against further explosions.

Pauley said the explosion occurred at about 4:45 a.m., apparently after a pipeline began leaking gasoline.

″Then some combustible item, whether it be a car or something else, caused for it to catch fire and it exploded,″ Pauley said, and the fire burned through about three blocks.

The explosion severely damaged one house and caused lesser damage to several others, Fire Chief Ron Fagerstrom said.

Bev Spano, 35, suffered third-degree burns over 100 percent of her body and died at the St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Jane Schwanke.

Her daughter, Jenny, died after receiving third-degree burns over 98 percent of her body, Ms. Schwanke said.

Diane Balk, 47, was listed in serious condition at the Hennepin County Medical center burn unit. Hospital spokesman Carol Allis said Ms. Balk, who had been delivering newspapers at the time of the blast, had second-degree burns over 27 percent of her body.

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