Crews were dispatched after receiving a call at 11:23 p.m. by a neighbor reporting an explosion. First responders found a patient with serious injuries and transported them to the hospital, then found the exploded vessel, according to the release.
A propane heater aboard the vessel is suspected to be the cause of the explosion. The individual lived on the boat with a cat. The cat suffered life threatening injuries and did not survive.
Columbia River Fire and Rescue crews remained on scene for several hours mopping up and containing leaking diesel with the assistance of Cowlitz Clean Sweep.
Propane heaters or appliances should not be used within a home, Columbia River Fire and Rescue said. The heaters produce odorless carbon monoxide which displaces oxygen within confined spaces and can lead to death. Space heaters should also only be used in open spaces, away from combustibles and always plugged directly into an outlet to reduce the chance of fire.