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CAMANO ISLAND – An elderly man was burned by a small explosion in a laundry outbuilding Tuesday morning, according to a fire official.

The man was taken by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was being treated for smoke inhalation and burns to his hands and face, said Mike Ganz, fire chief of Camano Island Fire and Rescue.

The man was conscious, and was taken to Harborview as a precaution, Ganz said.

Neighbors reported hearing an explosion about 10 a.m. in the 100 block of Tarragon Avenue.

Firefighters found the outbuilding engulfed in flames. The man had been able to escape. At least one neighbor was spraying water on the fire from a garden hose.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Initially it appeared the explosion may have happened while the man was attempting to reset a pilot light on an appliance, Ganz said.

The building was completely destroyed. Firefighters from Stanwood and Fire District 14 also helped extinguish the blaze.

The Stillaguamish Senior Center is presenting its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Howard Christianson, a former mayor and city councilman in Arlington.

The award will be presented at a fundraising breakfast at 7:30 a.m. today at the senior center, 18308 Smokey Point Blvd.

Christianson, a 1939 graduate of Arlington High School, served in the 727th Amphibian Tractor Battalion in the Philippines, Borneo and New Guinea in World War II.

Upon return to Arlington and his wife, Delores, he worked as a fuel distributor for a local oil business, eventually becoming an owner of Arlington Distributing Co.

In 1971, after 12 years on the Arlington City Council, Christianson won a write-in campaign for mayor and served until 1980. He was then hired as city administrator and helped the business development at the Arlington Airport.

Christianson was very active in various civic groups, including the Masons and the American Legion.

The Stillaguamish Senior Center will dedicate its newest low-income apartments at 9:30 a.m. today at the senior center, 18308 Smokey Point Blvd.

The project will add 30 new apartment units, funded by the federal Housing and Urban Development agency. The project is called Stillaguamish Gardens.

The center has 123 apartments for low- and moderate-income seniors.

For more information, call 360-653-4551.

A plan to end homelessness in Snohomish County by 2016 will be introduced Thursday.

The Snohomish County Homeless Policy Task Force will speak about the plan with state and community leaders, including U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and County Executive Aaron Reardon.

The event is at 9 a.m. at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett.

From Herald staff reports

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