PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — An explosion and fire killed a man and destroyed part of an Oregon city’s former government building.
The East Oregonian newspaper and KEPR-TV report that a 25-year-old man died in the blast that happened at 8 a.m. in Pendleton.
KEPR reports a second person was critically injured.
The building now used as residential and office space housed Pendleton’s city government until the mid-1990s, when City Hall moved and the building was sold to a private owner.
It’s unclear what caused the blast.
An explosion Tuesday blew out the third-floor windows of an Oregon city’s former government building, igniting massive flames that burned for more than an hour and injuring at least one person.
Part of the century-old building was destroyed in downtown Pendleton, a city not far from the Washington state line. Fire, police and hospital officials did not immediately return messages seeking information, but the East Oregonian newspaper reported the injury at the building now used as residential and office space.
It housed city government until the mid-1990s, when City Hall moved and the building was sold to a private owner.
It’s unclear what caused the blast that was reported around 8 a.m. PDT.
Jared Pennington told the newspaper that he was in his music studio on the building’s first floor when he heard the explosion and saw shattered glass. He said he ran outside but then raced back in to help rescue a man in a third-floor apartment who was seriously injured.
“He was bad off,” Pennington said.
Charlene Hanson was signing loan papers at a building next door when she heard the blast.
“At first it sounded like thunder,” she told the paper. “There was a light one, a bigger one and then a huge explosion.”
Police rerouted traffic near the building, and several downtown blocks lost power in the city of about 17,000 set amid ranchland in eastern Oregon.