One man estimated to be in his late 20s died in a house fire in Renton early Friday morning, according to the Renton Regional Fire Authority.
By the time fire crews arrived at Queen Place Northeast at 2:15 a.m., the entire first floor of the family home was fully engulfed in flames, said Roy Gunsolus, assistant chief of response operations for the authority.
Renton Police Department rescued one person by ladder from the second floor. Fire crews rescued two more people from the second story.
One person in critical condition was transported to Harborview Medical Center, Gunsolus said. Two were treated on the scene and one firefighter had slight injuries.
The man who died has not been identified. He was not discovered immediately, Gunsolus said. It took crews a while to complete a full search due to the fire and instability of the house.
“There was a report while we were on scene that came from dispatch that there was up to 1,500 pounds of ammunition on the second floor,” Gunsolus said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is involved in the investigation because of ammunition in the home.
A gas leak stemming from a failed pipe leading to the family’s furnace was determined to be the cause of the fire, said Anjela Barton, fire marshal for the Renton Regional Fire Authority. Investigators determined that a 90-degree bend in the pipe was the place that failed, creating the leak.
“We also suspect there maybe have been a malfunction in the furnace itself that caused the ignition source,” Barton said, “and this is what we believe led to the start of the fire.”
Neighbors reported to the investigation crews that they had heard a large explosion, Barton added.
The way the front windows were blown out on the scene and the amount of fire on the first floor indicates “that it was more than just normal combustion,” Gunsolus added.