Alleged thief sparks explosion at Everett house

EVERETT — A man scrounging for scrap metal in Everett on Wednesday almost blew himself up in the process.

Just before 10:13 a.m., an explosion rocked an abandoned house in the 1200 block of 41st Street, a block west of Rucker Avenue. The house’s front door flew off. It was knocked off its foundation. Glass from shattered windows landed on sidewalks 25 feet away.

Neighbors saw a man, 35, running from the home.

He’s likely lucky to be alive.

Investigators believe the man was in the house’s basement cutting into steel pipes for scrap metal. He cut into pipes carrying natural gas. He heard a hissing sound as the gas escaped.

Soon afterward, he lit a cigarette.

The house exploded.

No serious injuries were reported, Everett Fire Marshal Rick Robinson said. The man somehow was spared from the main shock wave of the explosion.

“He had singed his eyelashes and that was it,” Robinson said.

Everett police detained the man for questioning.

He initially was interviewed and released with orders not to return to the house, Robinson said. However, the man came back later and went back inside the house.

He was arrested and was expected to be booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of trespassing.

At the time of the explosion, the gas was contained to the basement, Robinson said. That indicates the gas hadn’t been leaking for long, he said.

Police and fire rigs surrounded the house for hours. People also rushed to social media to speculate about whether the blast was caused by a methamphetamine operation.

It wasn’t.

The house already had been condemned, Robinson said. City officials are working with the owner on demolition plans “in the very near term.”

The fire from the blast was small, with minimal smoke and flames.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

View Larger Map

More in Local News

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Train kills man who was trying to get off tracks in Monroe

The conductor said he attempted to stop after sighting the man, who’d been lying on the rails.

Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Most Read