FIRST ON KHQ: What Caused This Car To Explode Near Garland And H - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bookmark and Share

NEW DETAILS ON KHQ.COM: Car Explodes With Father & Child Inside Near Garland And Howard

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The explosion of a car in Spokane that sent two people to the hospital appears to have been an accident.
Sunday's explosion injured a man and his 3-year-old daughter.
Spokane police say the two had gotten into the car and driven just a few blocks when the vehicle exploded Sunday afternoon in the Garland District.
Police said Monday that preliminary results of their investigation indicate the man was using butane and drug paraphernalia in the car and lit a cigarette, causing the explosion. Police say they intend to file charges against the man.
The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and is in satisfactory condition. The girl is in serious condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

FROM THE SPOKANE POLICE DEPT: Spokane Police and Spokane Fire Departments continue to investigate a car explosion occurring Sunday that left a man and child with serious injuries.

Spokane Police Major Crimes Detectives and the Spokane Fire Marshall and Arson Investigators are processing the car for evidence. Both victims are hospitalized with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The incident is believed to be accidental. Charges have not yet been filed however they are forthcoming.

Sunday, just after 2:00 pm SPD received a call of a car explosion near Garland and Howard in Spokane. The car was occupied by a male driver and his 2½ year old daughter, both of whom were seriously injured in the blast and transported to the hospital.

The explosion tore off the roof of the car and damaged nearby buildings. The Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) responded to the scene and processed the car for explosives. SPD Major Crimes Detectives, the Spokane Fire Department Fire Marshall and the Spokane Fire Department Arson Investigator were also called in to assist in the investigation.

Through interviews and evidence from the car, investigators believe that prior to the explosion the driver was trying to use cans of butane (that he had just purchased) with a "THC Generator" device (a device used to extract oils from marijuana to make it more potent. This is an extremely dangerous practice). 

When the device did not function as expected, the driver placed it in the back seat of the car and lit a cigarette, which caused vapors in the car to flash/explode as the car was moving eastbound on Garland.

The incident is believed to be accidental. Charges have not been filed, however they will be forthcoming.


Authorities are investigating a car explosion that happened Sunday afternoon near the intersection of Garland and Howard. 

Police say a father and his 3-year-old daughter were in the car when it exploded. Both were taken to the hospital with burns, and police say the child is doing better than the father right now. 

Witnesses tell KHQ the explosion sounded like a sonic boom. 

Right now, it is unclear why the explosion happened, but the Emergency Disposal Unit is investigating the cause. 

This story is developing and we will update it as soon as we have more information.