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Deadly Blast Levels House

Explosion kills two; other homes damaged

Michael Leighton | 7/26/2017, 3:41 p.m.
Investigators were on the scene of a deadly house explosion Tuesday trying to determine what caused a Monday afternoon inferno ...
Water pours down from a Portland Fire and Rescue hose onto a house flattened by an explosion Monday afternoon on North Kerby Street across from Peninsula Park. The blast killed two people, damaged at least two other homes, and could be felt by residents for up to 10 blocks away. Photo by Portland Fire and Rescue

Investigators were on the scene of a deadly house explosion Tuesday trying to determine what caused a Monday afternoon inferno that killed two people at a home on North Kerby Street across from Peninsula Park, causing extensive damage to surrounding homes and sending glass shards and other debris across the street into the park and surrounding area.

The suspected natural gas explosion and fire caused a massive shock wave that could be felt for at least 10 blocks, according to witnesses. The blast completely flattened the house at 6214 N. Kerby around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

KGW

Authorities say Matthew McCrann, 42, died at a Portland hospital from injuries suffered in the blast. He was listed as owner of the house and was found critically injured behind the home when firefighters arrived. A second person killed in the blast was discovered later and has not been identified.

According to news reports, McCrann’s father, Kevin McCrann, said his son lived at the home for the last 10 years. He was also identified as the father of Alissa McCrann, a woman who has been missing since Dec. 19 when her car was found abandoned and parked at Multnomah Falls.

The cause of Monday’s explosion was not determined as of Tuesday afternoon, but authorities said a damaged natural gas line was one of the factors that made fighting the fire difficult. After the blast, Peninsula Park’s pool was temporarily closed as a precaution and the recreation center was safely evacuated.

KOIN

Fire crews will continue to search through the debris of the explosion. Portland Fire and Rescue investigators are being assisted by Portland Police, Gresham Police, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Oregon State Police.

Wednesday, July 26th Update: The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office identified the second victim of the explosion and fire as 68-year-old Richard Cisler. Cisler had been working on remodeling the McCrann home for over a year and his son was renting a room in the house, as well.