Apparent natural gas explosion destroys Mt. Vernon home, closes nearby high school

According to  :KOMO News Staff Monday, November 25th 2019 

Fire burns home in Mount Vernon (Photo courtesy: Peter Donovan)

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — An apparent natural gas leak caused a large explosion that shook a Mount Vernon neighborhood and left a home fully engulfed in flames.

The explosion was reported in the 900 block of East Fulton Street just after 6 a.m., according to Peter Donovan with the city of Mount Vernon. Firefighters arrived to find a “raging fire” in a home, reportedly fueled by a leaking natural gas line.

Two people were inside the home at the time of the explosion and managed to escape before flames took over the entire structure, Donovan said. One of the residents was injured and was taken to a local hospital, but the extent of their injuries was not given. The other resident was not hurt.

 Daniel Darsch, who lives next door, immediately woke up when the explosion happened.

“I was sound asleep, I heard a big boom and I was trying to figure out what the heck it was, like a storm or something,” Darsch said. “I noticed in the curtains of my window in my bedroom, that there was some glowing, I looked and a big stinkin’ fire right over there.”

Firefighters were able to save two nearby homes from damage. Officials from Cascade Natural Gas responded to the scene to shut off the gas line. According to Mount Vernon’s assistant fire chief Bryan Harris, the gas line was shut off at around 10:15 a.m.

“I don’t necessarily know if there was a natural gas leak,” Harris said, “I don’t even know if that was the cause at this point.”

According to Harris, it will take some time before investigators will be able to determine a cause.

“We just want to get in there, get room for the investigators to try to make a cause determination,” he said.

The explosion was so powerful, it knocked items off of shelves in nearby homes.

“All of the stuff in our house, most of the stuff on the shelves and stuff, they were just falling off,” Darsch said.

Mount Vernon High School, which is across the street from the burning home, was closed for the day due to the fire response.

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