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One person dead, police officer injured in Prescott explosion

PRESCOTT - A motor vehicle accident helped cause an explosion that killed the operator of the vehicle and injured a Prescott police officer on the scene Saturday evening.

A pick-up truck collided with a house on the northwest corner of the intersection of Pearl and Hampshire streets. The truck had been northbound on Pearl St. when it left the roadway and struck the south side of the house at 1010 Pearl St. The front of the truck was embedded six feet into the home and it damaged a natural gas meter on the side of the house and caused a gas leak.

A Prescott police officer, Benjamin Henrich detected the gas leak and made contact with the residents of the house who then evacuated the premises. They were not injured in the auto accident. When Henrich tried to make contact with operator of the truck, the explosion took place, which threw Henrich back 20 feet. The explosion caused a fire that destroyed the truck and the residence. The operator, identified as a 40-year-old caucasian female, died in the explosion and subsequent fire.

Prescott Fire and EMS responded to the scene. Henrich was transported from the scene to Regina Medical Center in Hastings, Minn., where he was treated and released for minor lacerations to his face and hands and minor burns to his face and scalp.

The body of the truck driver was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office in St. Paul. Her name and additional information will not be released until a positive identification is established.

Also at the scene of the accident were the Pierce County Medical Examiner, Prescott police officers, Pierce County Sheriff's Department officers and troopers from the Wisconsin State Patrol.