CRIME

Security Video Shows Motel Explosion In Washington State

A worker smelled gas and pulled the fire alarm, saving the lives of dozens of guests.

One person was injured in a gas explosion at a Motel 6 in Bremerton, Washington, on Tuesday night.

Security cameras captured the blast from multiple angles. Cascade Natural Gas worker Larry Jennings, 59, suffered a broken neck and severe burns in the explosion, officials with the utility said. No one was killed, the town's fire chief reported. Jennings, who was investigating a gas leak at the motel when the blast occurred, remained in critical condition at an area hospital Wednesday.

Sixteen rooms at the Seattle-area motel were destroyed. Two guests were unaccounted for following the explosion, but officials later pinged their cell phones and found they were away from the scene. 

 

Tonya Hinds, the motel's acting manager, is credited with saving the lives of more than 60 guests by acting fast when she smelled gas. She pulled the fire alarm, prompting an evacuation of the building. 

"My gut instinct just said, 'I need to evacuate,'" Hinds told Q13 Fox News. "I said, 'I want you to get up to the upper lot, and get distance, and get away from this building.'"

Guests consider Hinds a hero, but she is downplaying that role. She's now caring for the people displaced by the blast, distributing water, food and clothes provided by the Red Cross.

The cause of the explosion is still being investigated. Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan said a guest may have damaged the gas line when she exited out of a window in the rear of the building. The damage is thought to have occurred prior to the explosion, and did not appear to be intentional, he said.  

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