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Male victim dies after Chattaroy mobile home explosion

One man died early Friday morning after suffering severe burns from a mobile home explosion in Chattaroy, Wash., according to Harborview Medical Center.

Michael Asselin, 51, and his wife, 57, were both badly burned when the mobile home Asselin lived in exploded Wednesday afternoon.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fire as a domestic violence situation. An investigator at the scene Thursday said it may have been an attempted homicide or a high-level assault.

The female victim remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Harborview.

Related Coverage:

Official: Chattaroy fire suspicious

Chattaroy explosion may have been intentionally caused

Two severely burned in Chattaroy mobile home explosion

Spontaneous combustion likely cause of gun-room explosion at lawmaker’s home

Fire officials suspect a dangerous mixture of cleaning solvent, dirty rags and high explosives likely led to a destructive blast that sent the wife of a southern Idaho legislator to the hospital with second-degree burns, the Times-News and the AP report. Amy Wood, wife of state Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, was listed in good condition Tuesday in the University of Utah's Burn and Trauma Center after Saturday evening's explosion inside her husband's underground gun safe room. Click below for a full report.

Lawmaker’s wife injured in gun room explosion

Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, reportedly wasn't injured, but his wife, Amy, suffered second-degree burns when the gun room at the couple's Burley home exploded last night. The Associated Press reports that the couple was eating dinner when the explosion happened; she was on the back patio, which is directly over a room they had converted into a gun safe, when the blast happened, causing the patio to collapse. The Times-News reported that Amy Wood was taken by air ambulance to the University of Utah’s Burn and Trauma Center, where she was listed in good condition today. You can read the Times-News' full report here, in which Burley Fire Chief Keith Martin says the Woods were eating dinner when “they heard a sound like a 747 coming from the basement.”

KTVB-TV reported that a Burley fire official said the explosion did not appear to be suspicious, and advises people to keep their cleaning supplies away from their guns and ammunition; read their report here.

Wood is a physician and third-term lawmaker who is a former chairman of the Idaho Fish & Game Commission and an Air Force veteran.
  

More details on two-alarm fire

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Photos courtesy the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Reporter Mike Prager and I have a story in today's paper on the explosion and fire yesterday morning in the Valley Mission Professional Building across from the Valley Hospital. Someone reported seeing light smoke just before 7 a.m. yesterday and as fire crews were responding a second call came in that there had been an explosion and fire. An oral surgeons office has been completely destroyed and the building is closed as damage is assessed. It was quite a mess. The explosion shattered windows and threw debris into neighboring parking lots.