Olympia garage explodes; man sent to Harborview

FIRE: Smoke from a.m. blaze visible at airport; homeowner suffered burns, taken to Seattle

ckrotzer@theolympian.comJune 16, 2012 

An Olympia man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after his garage exploded Friday morning.

Fire crews from Lacey and Olympia arrived at a home on the 5200 block of Boulevard Extension Road at 9:50 a.m. to find a garage engulfed in flames that were spreading to the house.

“There was a loud bang and one of the neighbors said there was a lot of fire,” said Olympia Deputy Fire Chief Greg Wright.

Wright said the residents, a husband and wife, ran up the driveway for help. The smoke coming from the burning structure could be seen by crews at the Olympia Regional Airport tower.

Broken glass from windows were strewn across the street. What was once the walls of the garage lay on the hood of two cars parked in the driveway. Flames were still emanating from the open natural gas line on one of the sides still standing nearly an hour after the blast.

The husband suffered burns and was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital before being transferred to the Harborview burn center.

His injuries were not life-threatening, Lacey Fire District 3 Chief Steve Brooks said.

One of the homeowners’ two dogs was found dead, while a second made it out alive. Brooks said there could be a third dog that was not located.

Puget Sound Energy shut off the gas line to the house.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but Wright said “based on the amount of destruction” it likely started in the garage.

Fire investigators had not interviewed the husband as of Friday afternoon. The investigation was expected to be done by Friday evening.

ckrotzer@theolympian.com 360-754-5476 theolympian.com/thisjustin @chelseakrotzer

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