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Man wounded in home explosion

A Rutland, N.D., man was in critical condition today following an explosion Saturday afternoon that occurred when he was working on his furnace.

Hal Nelson was listed in critical condition at the burn center at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, a hospital spokesman said.

Nelson was working on his liquefied petroleum furnace when it exploded, Sheriff Travis Paeper of Sargeant County said this afternoon.

A neighbor went to Nelson's home and was unable to enter, but was able to call to Nelson, who followed the voice to escape, the sheriff said.

The neighbor then helped Nelson across the street. A Lifeflight helicopter transported him to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, and Nelson later was transferred to the Hennepin County Medical Center, Paeper said.

Serious burns appeared to cover much of Nelson, the sheriff said. "It was over a very significant percent of his body," Paeper added.

Nelson appeared to be in his early 50s, the sheriff said.

Fire departments from Rutland, Forman and Lidgerwood responded. The single-story house was a total loss, Paeper said. Nelson was to lone occupant of the house.