Early in the morning on Wednesday, March 9, a huge explosion caused businesses to be destroyed and at least nine firefighters injured in North Seattle, officials said.
Corey Orvold, the department spokeswoman told the JPost that the explosion occurred at 1:43 am. Firefighters were taken to the local hospital and were said to have minor injuries.
A coffee shop was badly damaged. A convenience store, as well as a restaurant, were completely lost as the result of the explosion, Orvold said. There were more businesses damaged from the explosion across the street.
The San Fransisco Chronicle reports the crew was sent to the Greenwood neighborhood after reports of an explosion due to a natural gas leak. Orvold said the explosion occurred just north of down town.
Crews were still battling the fire this morning as residents were checking out the damage. Glass and rubble were being cleaned up, and firefighters were being treated with coffee, thanks to a cafe that was damaged during the explosion, the San Francisco Chronicle announced.
Orvold revealed that an apartment complex was evacuated directly following the explosion. She also to the San Francisco Chronicle that dogs were being used to search through the debris and rubble to be sure that nobody was killed during the blast, although so far there have been no deaths or missing persons reported.
A battalion chief and eight firefighters were treated at the Harborview Medical Center, reported spokeswoman Susan Gregg. She also mentioned that as of 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time, five were already discharged and the remaining four were in the process of being discharged. Out of the nine injured, one was a woman.
Gregg also added that none of the injuries were life-threatening or major, and none of the injuries were burn-related, but mainly just abrasions and cuts. Some of the firefighters were simply checked on because the powerful blast took them off of their feet and slammed them backwards.
KOMO-TV reports that a man, Josh Coolbaugh, who lives close to the explosion area, was literally shook out of his bed.
“Thought it was an earthquake; way too loud to be a gunshot. So I got out of bed, checked on the family, and my family’s good. So I went outside and saw smoke. There’s nothing but rubble and bricks and there was a fire in the middle of the rubble … it’s like something out of a movie.”
The fire department revealed that medics, firefighters, and commanders were all on the scene, nearly 70 personnel total.
Emily Pfeifer, who lives just four blocks from the blast site told NBC News that she, too, was awakened by the explosion as she was rocked in her bed.
“The rocking was accompanied by the sound of things shaking briefly in my room. With the sound and movement at the same time. I thought a car must have hit my building.”
Orvold did say that the gas leak was reported nearly 40 minutes before the explosion at 1:04 a.m.
CNN announced that members of the Scoggins Fire Department rushed to the area to examine the gas leak prior to the explosion.
“We know, as firefighters, that this is a very dangerous job, and these things can happen from time to time. They did all the things they needed to do to take care of business.”
Orvold told CNN that people were being shuttled out of the area shortly after the blast, including those who lived in the apartment complex that was quickly evacuated.
Christina Donegan, a spokeswoman for Puget Sound Energy, said crews worked diligently to turn off the natural gas in the area so that they can determine if the problem resided within the building or going to the building.
[Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP Images]