Authorities: Man making explosive device at time of blast

Published 12:23 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Albert Lea man injured Sunday morning in an explosion in his home on Albert Lea Lake was making an explosive device when the blast occurred, according to authorities.

A Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office news release states technicians with the Bloomington Bomb Squad — with the help of a remotely controlled robot — removed several containers of components used to make explosive devices Monday from the home of Ronald Irvin Rofshus, 48.

Freeborn County Sheriff Bob Kindler said authorities are continuing to investigate, and no decisions have been made regarding criminal charges. The Sheriff’s Office is waiting to get reports back from the bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which was also called to assist in the investigation.

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At this point, Kindler said, he is not sure whether anything illegal took place as there are components used in manufacturing explosive devices that are legal to possess.

The home, at 18115 Pelican Road, is near where South Shore Drive splits from the shore.

According to the release, technicians detonated some of the containers outside the home, while others were detonated at a remote site. The Hayward Fire Department and an ambulance crew from Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea were on standby when the explosives were removed and detonated. No injuries were reported.

The release states the bomb squad also found firearms and firearm components beyond their expertise and that’s when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was called in to assist in the investigation.

In addition, the squad contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist. However, it is unclear what role the FBI is playing in the investigation or if it was simply called as a precautionary measure.

The explosion took place at about 12:15 a.m. Sunday in the basement of the home. Rofshus was transported by ambulance to the Albert Lea hospital and later taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he remained in serious condition.

He reportedly sustained a severe injury to his left arm.

Rofshus is part owner of Rofshus Precision Machine, a manufacturer of plastic moldings.