116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
WASHINGTON — A joint investigation concluded that a January house explosion on East Washington Street was caused by a gas leak.
The investigation involved the state fire marshal, city Fire and Police Departments and the Johnson County medical examiner, according to a news release from the Washington Fire Department.
“The gas vapors filled the confined space of the apartment which were ignited when the occupant lit a cigarette,” the news release said. “The source of that gas leak is undetermined.”
Other information is pending.
The explosion in the early morning hours of Jan. 4 destroyed the home at 1114 E. Washington St.and damaged several other adjacent houses.
One adult was killed and a child was injured in the explosion that sent debris over a several block area.
A house at 1120 E. Washington St., next door to the explosion, was damaged so badly that it was demolished in March.
The investigation was delayed by poor weather in February, and investigators returned to the site in early April to resume their work.
“This is all the further information that will be provided at this time,“ Fire Chief Brendan DeLong said in an email.