On Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 10:05AM first responders from the La Grande Police Department and the La Grande Fire Department responded to 504 M Avenue after an explosion had occurred inside the residence.
Upon arrival at the residence, emergency personnel found a 2-year-old child and a 4-year-old child had been home alone when the explosion occurred. The children were transported to Grande Ronde Hospital for evaluation and later released with no injuries.
The investigation revealed that the children were in the process of attempting to make microwave popcorn in a microwave above a gas range. A small chair was being used by one of the children to gain access to the microwave. It appears that during this effort, the controls on the front of the range were accidentally manipulated, allowing gas to escape into the air. The gas was eventually ignited while the children were still in the kitchen. The back door of the residence was blown apart and was blown out of the door jam. A window was also blown out of the front of the house. The range, microwave, and the refrigerator next to the range sustained significant damage. After the explosion the children fled the house and took refuge inside of a vehicle parked outside the residence.
The children’s parents, 38-year-old Stephen Seed and 40-year-old Clarissa Seed, were not home at the time of the explosion. Investigators were attempting to locate the children’s parents, when they returned to the residence at 11:25am. Investigators learned the parents had been away from the house, allegedly looking for a missing dog, since approximately 9:30am.
Stephen Seed and Clarissa Seed were both arrested and transported to the Union County Jail on charges of Child Neglect II.
The La Grande Police Department was assisted in the investigation by the La Grande Fire Department and Child Protective Services from the Oregon State Department of Human Services.