Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A car caught fire after crashing into a Rochester business early Saturday and the driver had to be pulled from the burning vehicle.

Rochester firefighters were sent to the Saigon-Far East Market at 3918 18th Ave NW at 1:15 AM Saturday and found the vehicle engulfed in a fire that was being fed by the building’s natural gas supply.

Rochester police officers and Olmsted County deputies were able to pull the unresponsive driver out of the vehicle. Police Lt. Craig Anderson says the man apparently was not burned but may have suffered a back injury. He was taken to St. Marys Hospital. His medical condition is unknown. The name of the man - believed to be in his early 30s - was not available Saturday morning. Anderson says two passengers were able to get out of the car and were not hurt.

Anderson says the driver was traveling west at a high rate of speed on 40th St. when he left the roadway on a curve, went through a snowbank and then crashed into the rear of the building.

Here are some photos from inside the store:


Firefighters were able to close the natural gas valve and extinguish the fire before it spread beyond the rear entrance door. RFD says the east side of the business sustained heavy fire damage and had smoke and water damage throughout. The vehicle that struck the building was a total loss. The preliminary damage estimate was put at $200,000.

Temperatures were around -5 at the time of the incident.

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