Woman escapes explosion that destroyed Sultan house

Investigators are checking propane tanks and gas lines in search of the cause.

SULTAN — A woman survived an explosion and a fire that destroyed one house and damaged another Thursday in Sultan.

Normally, two children sleep in a bedroom above the garage in the split-level home off Perkins Way, but they weren’t home at 5:45 a.m. when that half of the house ripped apart in the explosion, Sultan Fire Chief Merlin Halverson said. The bang was heard for miles around.

“I mean, the walls were blown out from underneath the second story,” Halverson said.

The sleeping woman awoke to find her front door impassible, and the house on fire. She escaped unharmed through a back door, the fire chief said. Debris scattered onto neighboring lawns.

By the time fire engines arrived, the house was engulfed in flames. The fire also spread into the roof and attic of a house next-door.

Ammunition crackled in a burning gun shop behind the split-level home.

The first house likely will be a total loss, Halverson said. Firefighters were able to save most of the second house. Other residents had just left in the past 20 minutes or so, the fire chief said.

Investigators with the Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office were examining the rubble to figure out what led to the explosion. The fire chief noted that propane tanks and natural gas lines in the garage were being looked at in the search for the cause.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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