8 Injured in Portland Gas Explosion
Eight people, including two police officers and three firefighters were injured after a large gas explosion occurred in Northwest Portland on Wednesday morning.
According to reports, the explosion took place in the Dosha Salon Spa building at NW 23rd and Glisan. Portland Fire and Rescue confirmed the injuries to KOIN 6 News, but said that no one was killed by the blast. None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, though at least one firefighter was taken into surgery to repair a broken leg.
The firefighters were investigating a report of a gas leak inside the building at the time of the explosion. Lt. Rich Chatman said that approximately 100 firefighters were on-site by noon in order to assess the damage and fight hotspots.
According to NW Natural, a gas company, the damage to the gas line was the fault of a 3rd party, though the ignition source has yet to be identified. Lt. Chatman told KOIN 6 News that, per protocol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on site investigating the explosion.
Kimberly Johnson, the COO of Dosha Salon Spa said that all of her employees were safe, and that the salon was fully evacuated before the explosion occurred. One of the workers who was inside the salon before the evacuation took place, Allison Williams, told KOIN 6 News that:
“We came in to start our day at 9 a.m. and smelled something funny, so we called the gas company. They promptly told us to get out of the building. We were outside and not that far from the building when we heard and saw these huge booms, the building exploded, the glass was shattered and it instantly burst in flames. It was pretty scary.”
According to Johnson, the salon reopened seven months before the explosion after a flood caused them to rebuild the 25-year-old business.
Employees from nearby Portland Bagelworks were reportedly evacuated that morning after a construction crew entered the store and warned them that they hit a gas line. Williams told KOIN 6 News that firefighters and police officers were already on site and testing for gas before the explosion happened.