One Port Orchard victim was longtime Kitsap Bank employee

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A husband and wife were killed Tuesday in an explosion in Port Orchard.

Kitsap Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said the couple that died in the explosion were 70-year-old William B. McDonald and his wife, 65-year-old Maria C. McDonald.

Key developments: 

  • Explosion occurred in South Kitsap shortly after 4 am.
  • Remains of two people found in the rubble
  • Manufactured home leveled
  • Collateral damage to surrounding homes, school
  • Cause not yet released, but investigators taking closer look at propane used in home

>> Read more about the Port Orchard explosion here.

The Kitsap County coroner will later officially confirm the identities of the two killed in the explosion, but Deputy Wilson said officials have no reason to believe anyone other than William and Maria were in the home at the time of the incident.

"She was one of those people that everybody genuinely loved and liked."

Steve Politakis had the sad duty of helping console his staff as they deal with a terrible tragedy, the death of their coworker, Maria McDonald.

"We had a lot of people very sad, very much in tears," he said.

It wasn't until midday that the authorities confirmed that McDonald and her husband, William, who had retired, were likely inside their home when a blast ripped through it.




>> House explosion rocks seismometers across Puget Sound.

But Maria's coworkers guessed that when she didn't show up for work at 8 a.m. this morning.

"Maria was a very prompt person," said Politakis. "Very loyal and dependable employee. And the branch, everybody was here, and was quite shaken.  We sent people home and went on from there."

He decided to close the branch for the day.

By 5 p.m., customers were bringing flowers and plants as a memorial.

Nearly all knew about the blast but few had heard who the victims were.

"I didn't know it was Maria," said customer Mary Boehme. "I just knew two people were missing."

Boehme said it was Maria who helped sort out her accounts when her husband died.

"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that," Boehme said. "Yeah, she's a wonderful lady. She was just very helpful."

Her loss, felt acutely here.

"We're a family owned bank," said Politakis. "And we're a pretty close group.  So it's pretty devastating for us today."

Want to talk about the news of the day? Join us on Facebook.