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Small plane crashes into house in Sauk Rapids

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SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. -- A small plane crashed into a house Friday evening in the central Minnesota town of Sauk Rapids.

The occupant of the house at the time reportedly escaped unharmed. Both people aboard the plane died in the crash, according to the Sauk Rapids police.

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The fiery crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. at 731 Garden Place, in a densely developed residential area near U.S. 10, just north of St. Cloud.

According to the St. Cloud Times, the owner of the house, Jeff Hille, was not home at the time but his brother-in-law was. Hille's brother-in-law is Kole Heckendiorf, who told Forum News Service that he and Hille had just come home from a golf tournament Friday.

Hille and a friend left Heckendorf alone in the house around 8:15 p.m., he said. About 15 minutes later, a small plane crashed into the house, knocking Heckendorf off his feet.

At first, Heckendorf suspected some paint thinner he left in the garage had exploded. Then he looked outside and saw the flames.

“I didn’t really have time to do anything,” he said.

Heckendorf jumped out the bedroom’s second-floor window to safety. By that time, his neighbors had arrived at the scene.

“They were just really happy to see me walking from the backyard,” he said.

Others weren’t as lucky. Both people aboard the plane died in the crash -- their names haven’t been released, and the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Heckendorf also lost his dog, Storm. He choked up as he recounted walking to the front of his house to look for him.

“I yelled, but there was no chance,” he said.

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Forum News Service
The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, stretching from the oilfields of western North Dakota to the plains of South Dakota and to the shores of eastern Minnesota. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.
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