Itasca County, MN – Two people are dead after an explosion in rural Itasca County in northern Minnesota.

The explosion happened just before 7:30 a.m. Thursday with the sheriff’s office being alerted by a 911 caller who reported a structure fire near Turtle Lake. The caller reported hearing a loud bang before seeing the blaze.

Deputies located the fire in the 52800 block of Turtle Lake View Path, on the west side of the lake, approximately five miles southwest of Bigfork. Responding deputies found the residence fully engulfed in flames, power lines down and debris spread all over a large area of the property. Authorities learned that a man lived alone in the home and that his daughter had recently visited. After Bigfork Fire Department and surrounding departments suppressed the flames, the bodies of a male and female victim were recovered.

The victims have been identified as 92-year-old Roy E. Halverson, of Bigfork, and 62-year-old Christie L. Kurtz, of Milaca.

Their bodies were transported to the Itasca County Coroner’s Office for autopsy.