Man in critical condition, two others arrested after explosion

A 46-year-old man was in critical condition Saturday, May 18, following an explosion at a Wyoming residence.

Meanwhile, Forest Lake residents David Michael Walsh, 40, and Timothy Kenneth Gray, 33, were arrested and each charged by criminal complaint with a single felony level count of aiding and abetting possessing, manufacturing, transporting or storing explosive or incendiary devices, Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter confirmed this week.

According to Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe, just before noon, Wyoming Public Safety responded to a report of a male with burns on his hands, arms and face. He was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where he was listed in critical condition.

Officers at the scene determined the injuries were the result of a “flashover minor explosion” in the garage of a home on the 7000 block of Lake Boulevard. While investigating the cause of the explosion, officers noticed materials consistent with manufacturing fireworks-type explosive devices. A search warrant of the property revealed a small, illegal manufacturing operation for 2- to 3-inch, mortar-style, aerial fireworks.

The St. Paul Bomb Squad, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives , North Metro Hazmat and Chisago County Sheriff’s Office assisted Wyoming Public Safety in the search while identifying, dismantling and seizing the manufacturing equipment and materials for producing illegal fireworks.

On Monday, Walsh and Gray appeared in Chisago County District Court where bail for each was set at $30,000 unconditional or $10,000 with conditions. Reiter said they are prohibited from possessing explosives or pyrotechnics.

Walsh’s next court appearance is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, June 3, while Gray is slated to appear at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 26.

The case remains under investigation.

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