INDEX — Investigators believe a propane tank blew up during a fire Monday night near Index that destroyed three campers.
“It’s definitely an arson,” said Bruce Pulver, a fire investigator with the Snohomish County Fire Marshals Office.
The blaze was reported about 9:30 p.m. in the 4900 block of Mount Index River Road, Pulver said.
Index fire crews responded and doused the fire that destroyed a fifth-wheel trailer, a motor home and a cab-over camper.
Witnesses told emergency dispatchers they heard an explosion and then saw a thick column of black smoke. People in the area told investigators they believed a pipe bomb was involved, Pulver said.
That wasn’t the case, he said.
“It’s still a suspicious fire but we have eliminated the possibility of pipe bombs,” he said.
The campers had been damaged in last fall’s floods, Pulver said. They were in the process of being repaired.
Damage loss is estimated at about $20,000.
A disaster team from the Snohomish County Chapter of the American Red Cross responded, spokesman Kris Krischano said.
They provided temporary shelter, food and clothing for a man and his dog who were displaced by the blaze.
The Red Cross will maintain contact with the man to provide any additional immediate emergency needs.
Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437, firstname.lastname@example.org.