‘It was a very big boom’: Explosion, large fire destroys SeaTac Auto business

SEATAC, Wash.. — A two-alarm fire, which completely destroyed a SeaTac auto service business, was preceded by a thunderous explosion, according to witnesses.

The fire began before noon Tuesday at Guru Auto Techs — which customizes Prius, according to its Facebook page — and caused towering flames to erupt from the building located in the 21200 block of International Boulevard.

People who work in nearby businesses told KIRO 7 the explosion and following fire were so intense that they could feel it through glass doors and windows across the street.

“It was a very big boom,” said Michael Curry, who was blocks away from the building. “I was at home when it broke out,” he said. “I heard a boom, and it made me look out the front door, and I saw a mushroom cloud.”

The people who work at Guru Auto Techs told us off camera there were six workers inside, and everyone was able to make it out unhurt. But the two-alarm fire was hard for even multiple fire departments to control. Multiple cars were burned around the building.

“I figured the only thing that could make a cloud like that would be some kind of chemical, so I thought it might’ve been some of the oil containers or propane tank that would make it explode like that,” Curry said.

“I just heard a big explosion, smelled hella smoke and, you know, everyone came out and started panicking,” Hoyer said.

Firefighters don’t know how the blaze started, but the fire chief told KIRO 7 the building may have been a complete loss within seconds.

“We’re a minute away, and the building was already fully involved,” said Chief Pat Pawlak of the Puget Sound Regional Fire Department. “So thankfully, all the workers made it out safely, and nobody was injured. Firefighters weren’t injured fighting the fire.”