Small Town News

Disaster and Accident

Fire, explosion rock neighborhood

Newcastle News of Newcastle, Washington

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Nerves were rattled, but no one was hurt, when a pickup loaded with compressed-gas cylinders caught fire, setting off explosions in a Newcastle neighborhood the evening of July 29.

The fire spread to the north and south sides of the road in the 1800 block of Southeast 84th Street, damaging yards, a deck support post, fence, trailer and cedar tree, said Lt. Richard Burke, community liaison officer with the Bellevue Fire Department.

"We had lots of fire," Burke said.

The pickup was a U-Haul rental that contained six to eight high-pressure gas cylinders in its flat bed, he said. Investigators are still looking for the owner, or renter, of the truck.

"We're not sure why they left the scene and we'd like to talk to them about it," Burke said. "Accidents happen, but we don't have any background of how this all started."

Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 16-18 minutes, Burke said. The damage is estimated at $10,000 to $20,000, though that figure does not include the trailer, Burke said.

"This is going to be a long and protracted investigation," Burke said.

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Original Publication Date: August 7, 2015

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