A propane fire insert on display in the center of the store was to blame. Employees were trying to light the stove but were having trouble. When it finally lit, it did so with oomph.
“All of a sudden, it went,” said Devee Farmer, the store’s inventory manager.
Staff saw a burst of flame around the stove and as high as eight feet above the stove. Though it didn’t catch, the store was evacuated, Farmer said.
South Whidbey Fire/EMS crews responded and found no flames inside the building. Chief Rusty Palmer said the stove “poofed” when it started, the result of built up gas. When relayed Farmer’s report, he agreed, “That’s a good poof.”