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

High-speed, tire-shredding Marysville chase ends in capture

The 28-year-old driver is now being held for investigation of more than 25 criminal counts.

Election results for Snohomish County school districts

Updated 2/16: Here are the returns for Tuesday’s special election ballot measures.

School levies still passing in 3 districts after latest tally

In the initial count, ballot measures in Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish had been losing.

7-hour police standoff near Lynnwood ends with surrender

Deputies seized a rifle, pellet gun and knife at the scene.

Front Porch

EVENTS Learn about the microgrid Snohomish County PUD plans an open house… Continue reading

Ban on bump-fire stocks makes progress in State House

The Senate approved the bill but would need to vote on any changes made by the House.

We might see snow in the lowlands this weekend

Snow in the mountain passes will definitely be deep, forecasters say.

In journal, Everett suspect had picked a date for school attack

The Everett teen reportedly planned attack as tribute to other mass killers. His bail is $5 million.

Everett coaches reaching out to teens about dating violence

Free training focuses on a known strength of coaches: Being positive role models.

Most Read