Suspected Everett Metal Thief Cuts Pipe, Smells Gas, Lights Cigarette…Causes Explosion

April 3, 2013

Everett Fire, Police Blotter

A man is lucky to be alive after allegedly causing an explosion to an abandoned house on 41st street in central Everett. I’ll let the press updates from Everett Fire Marshal Rick Robinson tell the strange story…

Initial Press Update #1:

Everett Fire Department crews were dispatched to the 1200 block of 41st Street today at 10:13 a.m. for a reported explosion. Arriving crews found the front door blown off its hinges, broken glass from the home’s windows scattered in the front yard, and a little smoke coming from the home. Closer examination revealed that the home had moved on top of its foundation and the south/front wall of the home was tipped toward the north. Crews extinguished some small embers and searched for any possible residents. No one was found. The vacant house had been condemned in late February for not having been properly secured against entry.

The fuel for the explosion was natural gas. The ignition source could not be determined. Because the house appears to be structurally unstable, demolition of the structure is planned in the very near term.

Press Update #2:

Everett Police Department officers have detained a 35 year-old male suspect in this morning’s vacant house explosion in the 1200 block of 41st Street. The suspect was allegedly in the basement of the house cutting out steel natural gas piping for scrap metal when he heard a hissing sound and smelled gas. Shortly thereafter, the gas was ignited when the suspect allegedly lit a cigarette. The suspect was seen by neighbors running outside the house after the explosion, but left the scene as fire crews began to arrive. Everett Police Department officers picked up the suspect near the scene.

Everett city officials are working with the owner of the damaged home to have it demolished in the near term.

Press Update #3:

As reported earlier, Everett Police and Everett Fire Arson Investigators responded to the 1200 block of 41st Street to investigate the explosion in the vacant house. While at the location, investigators interviewed a 35 year-old male detained by officers. The male was released and trespassed from (ordered not to return to) the location pending further investigation with possible criminal charges to be filed. However, the male returned and entered the damaged house. He was arrested and will be booked into Snohomish County Jail on trespass charges.

The man was booked into the Snohomish County Jail early Wednesday night.

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