January 7— At 1 p.m., the Seattle Fire Department responded to a report of an explosion without fire or smoke at a one-story building located in the 2800 block of South McClellan Street. Firefighters arrived and evacuated the flower shop located in the front of the building.
The explosion occurred inside one of 3 vacant apartment units located in the back of the building. The force of the blast blew out the unit’s windows and sliding glass doors. It also blew the doors off a refrigerator, tore a hole in the ceiling, ripped up kitchen cabinets and moved a wall 6 inches off its foundation.
PSE shut off the gas to the building and Seattle City Light shut off power to the building. At 3:30 p.m., a structural engineer from the Department of Planning and Development determined the flower shop was safe to reoccupy but the engineer was still assessing the structural integrity of other portions of the building.
Investigators from the Seattle Police Department’s Arson Bomb Squad determined the explosion was caused by butane tanks being stored in the freezer. Because it is heavier than air, the butane gas leaked to the bottom of the refrigerator. When the appliance started up, an electrical spark ignited the butane gas causing an explosion.
The scene has been turned over to the Seattle Police Department.
There were no injuries.