A man was found dead after an explosion and fire late this morning along Highway 141 in northwest Iowa. The explosion and fire was in  Smithland, Iowa in rural Woodbury County.

 According to the Woodbury County sheriff, 76-year-old Robert Jones died after an explosion occurred at the former service station that bore his name. The building was currently being used as a repair shop. It was located on the main street of Smithland, along Highway 141.

Smithland’s fire chief says the man’s body was found outside the office of the fully engulfed building when authorities arrived. The explosion and fire happened at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The cause of the blast remains under investigation.

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City