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Dec-11-2008 09:30printcomments

Man Arrested After Explosion Rocks Aloha Apartment Complex (PHOTOS)

Eleven people including seven children were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross Disaster Services responded to the scene to assist the families with shelter.

Aftermath of an explosion at an Aloha, Oregon apartment complex
Aftermath of an explosion at an Aloha, Oregon apartment complex. Photos courtesy: Dave Thompson/Aloha Police

(ALOHA, Ore.) - Deputies in Washington County say a man was arrested last night after a series of explosions occurred in an Aloha apartment complex.

Dave Thompson with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, says deputies were called to conduct a welfare check on a man who had been involved in a domestic fight.

"While deputies were outside the apartment a series of explosions occurred followed by a fire inside the apartment. The suspect was taken into custody and no one was injured," Thompson said.

It happened at the Kinniman Square Apartments, located on SW 188th Avenue in Aloha. Deputies had been called out to check on the welfare of 44-year-old Donald Hellebuyck after a reported domestic disturbance, Thompson said.

"Mr. Hellebuyck’s brother had learned that Mr. Hellebuyck had been involved in a physical fight with his wife earlier in the night. His brother was concerned that Mr. Hellebuyck might be a danger to himself or others after statements Mr. Hellebuyck made on the phone."

Thompson says that while deputies were standing outside the apartment they heard a series of explosions inside.

"Mr. Hellebuyck ran out the back of the apartment and was taken into custody. A fire quickly ensued and deputies acted quickly to evacuate the two adjacent apartments before anyone was injured," Thompson said.

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue arrived a short time later and extinguished the fire. Investigators say the building was badly damaged by the fire.

Thompson said, "Deputies learned that Mr. Hellebuyck had assaulted his wife earlier in the night and that she had not been in the building at the time of the explosion. She was being treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries."

Eleven people including seven children were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross Disaster Services responded to the scene to assist the families with shelter. Mr. Hellebuyck has been charged with first-degree Arson, which is a Measure 11 charge, first-degree Criminal Mischief and fourth-degree felony Assault, over the alleged assault on his wife.

He is being held at the Washington County Jail on $250,000 bail.




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