UPDATE: 8:45 a.m. | A fire in a fire pit exploded at Alki Beach about 9 p.m Monday, injuring five high-school students who were gathered around it, sending all of them to the hospital.
All five of the teens were listed in satisfactory condition this morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The students, all under 18, were having an end-of-year gathering and decided to burn a few school papers with an unidentified fuel, according to Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore. The West Seattle Blog said the students were from Auburn.
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Four boys and one girl were injured in the incident. Two boys suffered arm and face burns. Two other boys suffered burns on their upper chests and hands and a girl had hair and eyebrow burns.
Moore said a Seattle Fire Department investigator went to the hospital to question the injured about what was used to burn the papers.
Eyewitnesses say they heard a loud boom before seeing flames spread through a group of 10-15 people.
It took about a minute for the flames to be put out with sand and water people poured from bottles, according to Mike Johnson, who saw the flames from across the street.
“It had to have been propane or gas because it spread so quickly,” Johnson said.
Using flammable fuels at Alki Beach is illegal, Moore said. The Seattle police Arson/Bomb Squad is investigating.