Home distilling causes explosion in Vancouver; garage door blown - KPTV - FOX 12

Home distilling causes explosion in Vancouver; garage door blown out

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Photo: Vancouver Fire Dept. Photo: Vancouver Fire Dept.
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A home distillery setup caused an explosion at a Vancouver rental house that blew out the garage door and caused $15,000 in damage, according to firefighters.

Fire crews responded to the 1000 block of Northeast 98th Avenue at 6:36 a.m. Tuesday.

A man in the home said he was sleeping when the explosion occurred.

Investigators learned the explosion was linked to the distillation of rakia, a Hungarian alcohol made from grapes.

Firefighters said the alcohol content of rakia is normally 40 percent alcohol by volume, but home produced rakia can be stronger, up to 90 percent alcohol by volume.

Investigators said alcohol vapors were likely not properly sealed in the still, causing the flammable vapors to leak and fill the garage and spread up into the attic.

Open flames from the distillation burner are believed to have ignited the vapor, which caused the explosion that blew out the garage door and part of the front wall and ceiling, investigators reported.  

According to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, it is illegal to produce distilled spirits within a residence. The case has been referred to enforcement officers from the agency to follow-up.

Firefighters said the home was being rented and the renter did not have renter's insurance.

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