Explosion damages Kelso home

2009-12-31T23:55:00Z 2011-01-17T18:40:31Z Explosion damages Kelso homeBy Leila Summers / The Daily News Longview Daily News
December 31, 2009 11:55 pm  • 

A homemade illegal explosive destroyed the rear wall of a North Kelso apartment and forced neighbors to evacuate Thursday night.

No one appeared injured from the blast, though three people inside the residence went to St. John Medical Center for evaluation, said Alan Headley, assistant fire chief for Cowlitz Fire District 2.

Kelso police are investigating the explosion, which occurred around 6:20 p.m.

The blast forced a rear wall to bow away and partially detach from the house, Headley said. Neighbors said part of the rear roof appeared to be destroyed as well.

The house is about five blocks west of Huntington Middle School, at the corner of Second Avenue North and Division Street. Neighbors said the residence contains three apartments, two of which were vacant.

"There didn't appear to be an actual fire in the house," Headley said.

However, he did see a few boxes (about one by two feet in size) with what appeared to be homemade firecrackers inside the house.

The device that exploded is considered a "homemade illegal explosive," Kelso Police Capt. Jeremy Kirk said at the scene.

He said charges are possible.

The Portland Bomb Squad was called to search for and destroy other explosives possibly inside the house, Kirk said.

A neighboring house to the south, in addition to the damaged home, were evacuated Thursday evening.

Kelso resident Eric Torgerson said he could hear a "deep boom" from inside his house, about half a block from the explosion.

"It was bigger than any firework," he said.

To Tim Kindell, who also lives a half-block from the scene, the explosion sounded "like a pipe bomb."

"We thought it was a homemade firecracker but it was too loud and shook the house," said his wife, Nicole Kindell.

Tim Kindell said the man living in the apartment indicated to him that making homemade firecrackers was a hobby. The Kindells said they're not aware of any other explosions at the house.

Nicole Kindell said she's glad there weren't any serious injuries and hopes her neighbor learns to be more careful.

"This is not the safest thing," she said.

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(7) Comments

  1. wilsyworld
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    wilsyworld - January 01, 2010 9:20 am
    I live a few blocks from the exploded house. I'm not surprised. Those of us in the neighborhood have been hearing loud bangs periodically. Everytime all the dogs start barking, but never any sirens, until last night. Maybe now it will stop for good. I'm just glad no one was killed.
  2. Sparrow
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    Sparrow - January 01, 2010 12:34 pm
    I also live in the neighborhood, and yes, we also hear the loud bangs in the area quite often. But last night, even after this explosion happened, the windows continued to rattle throughout the night and into this morning from other nearby explosions. A few felt more intense and stronger than the one that did this damage. As long as Cowlitz County allows any fireworks to be legally discharged in city limits at any time, illegal ones will accompany them and both kinds will injure cause damage.
  3. RecoveryRocks
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    RecoveryRocks - January 01, 2010 5:38 pm
    I was gonna move into this neighborhood until I witnessed the drug activity and seen that someone keeps a pig in thier yard calling it a pet. Now after finding out people are making bombs...... I'm thankful and greatful I did'nt move into N. Kelso.
  4. fesup
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    fesup - January 01, 2010 7:10 pm
    hey at least it wasn't a meth lab explosion
  5. jerm
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    jerm - January 02, 2010 12:22 am
    As long as cowlitz county allows alcohol and cars there will be drunk driving
  6. True American
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    True American - January 02, 2010 12:54 am
    Sparrow, I suppose if we ban the legal fireworks the illegal ones will disappear also? Brilliant.
  7. mrbuilder1
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    mrbuilder1 - January 02, 2010 11:01 am
    Its been exciting in Kelso!! Yes. Glad no one got killed. It is very sad that cowlitz county let this activites go on. They know of the ones making the big BANGS!!! Yes we are all thankful it was not a MET LAB. Well HAPPY 2010. What awaits 4 this year??? L.O.L.
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