Seattle buiding explosion
© Genna Martin/, via Associated Press
Firefighters at the scene of a building explosion in Seattle early Wednesday.
An explosion in Seattle on Wednesday flattened two buildings and shook a neighborhood, prompting a large response by emergency officials. At least nine firefighters were reported injured in the blast. The suspected cause was a natural gas leak.

The explosion, reported around 1:45 a.m. Pacific time, was so loud that it could be heard as far away as Shoreline, a community about 10 miles north of downtown Seattle.

The police and firefighters descended on the scene, near the intersection of Greenwood Avenue North and 85th Avenue North, in Greenwood, a neighborhood in the north-central part of the city.

The blast shook the neighborhood, which is known for its concentration of restaurants, bars and coffee shops and has of late been home to middle-class families and upscale professionals.

According to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the explosion leveled two buildings, one of them a convenience store, and blew out several windows of nearby buildings.

The Fire Department said that 67 employees were sent to the scene.

The television station KING said that a natural gas leak had been reported about 40 minutes before the explosion. A reporter for another station, KOMO, said that the explosion resulted in large amounts of shattered glass.