Explosion on boat in St. Helens injures man, kills cat
An explosion at the St. Helens Marina destroyed a boat and injured its owner Sunday night, Oct. 25.
Christopher Ostling had been looking closely at the flame of his infrequently used propane heater when the heater exploded near his face, his friend Christina Jendro said.
Neighbors blocks from the marina said they were woken up by the loud explosion.
Ostling suffered severe burns to his hands, but he was out of the hospital Monday morning, Oct. 26.
"I have no idea how he's alive," Jendro said.
Columbia River Fire & Rescue responded to the marina at 11:23 p.m. Sunday after a neighbor reported hearing an explosion. CRF&R firefighter-paramedics located the injured Ostling, who was transported to the hospital for treatment.
"After addition investigation, we found a vessel that incurred a catastrophic explosion. Crews are still on scene trying to contain leaking diesel," CRF&R stated in a social media post at 2 a.m. Monday.
The fire agency has not released further details as of 3 p.m. Monday.
Ostling lost the boat he called home, practically all of his possessions, and his cat, who died after the explosion, Jendro said.
By Monday afternoon, Jendro had started a Facebook fundraiser to collect money and donations for Ostling.
The Spotlight also reached out to Ostling for comment on this story but had not received a response as of 3 p.m. Monday, possibly because Ostling's phone was destroyed in the explosion, according to Jendro.
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