EVERETT, Wash. — The January 7 explosion that killed an Everett barista has been ruled an accident caused by a propane heater, according to the Everett Fire Department.
Courtney Campbell was severely burned in the explosion and died several days later. Investigators say the 26-year-old had been using a small “camping-style” propane heater inside the coffee stand when the explosion occurred.
A witness told fire officials he smelled gas in the stand prior to the explosion and warned Campbell that it was dangerous.
“It was apparent that an accidental release of propane vapor occurred immediately before a flash that caused the fire,” investigators said in a Thursday news release.
Campbell, who purchased the stand in March and had been putting in long hours to make it a viable business, was able to escape the flames after the explosion, but she later succumbed to her injuries at Harborview Medical Center.
“The world lost a beautiful soul and I lost my best friend,” said Ben Scott, a friend who organized a fundraising effort for Campbell’s family.
In a Thursday statement, officials used the tragic death to warn people about the dangers of propane.
“Propane is an odorless gas, but contains an additive that smells like rotten eggs so people can detect it. The Everett Fire Department urges citizens to leave their house immediately and call 911 if they encounter an unusual smell,” the statement reads.
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