Worker, 68, identified as 2nd house explosion victim

The explosion was caused by butane hash oil

The fire erupted at a home in Peninsula Park on July 24, 2017. (Courtesy photo)
The fire erupted at a home in Peninsula Park on July 24, 2017. (Courtesy photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The identity of the second person who died in an explosion in Northeast Portland earlier this week has been released.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the death of 68-year-old Richard Cisler of North Portland.

On Tuesday, the ME’s Office identified 42-year-old Matthew McCrann as being the other person who died in Monday’s explosion and fire in the 6200 block of North Kerby Avenue. According to Portland Fire & Rescue, it was McCrann’s home that exploded on Monday afternoon. The explosion damaged the two neighboring homes.

McCrann was transported from the scene to the Legacy Oregon Burn Center in North Portland, but died at the hospital.

Portland Fire and Rescue said the fire was caused by a large concentration of butane created while the homeowner was trying to produce butane hash oil.

Cisler’s brother, Earl, told KOIN 6 News on Wednesday that his brother was working at the McCrann residence doing some “remodeling.” Richard had been working on the house for about a year and a half, according to Earl. Cisler knew McCrann because his 20-year-old son was renting a room from the homeowner.

“He was doing some painting, some sanding and re-varnishing of the floors,” Earl Cisler said.

Earl Cisler said he was unaware if the McCrann residence even had a gas hook up.

“All winter longer he (Richard) was using electric heat because the paint wasn’t drying right,” according to Earl.

Daphne Mathew, a public information officer for NW Natural, also confirmed that a leakage detection crew was sent out to look for any natural gas leaks within a 2 block radius of the explosion zone and no leaks were found. Mathew was checking to see whether or not the McCrann residence had a natural gas account.

Earl Cisler said his brother was a lifelong resident of Portland and was always willing to help others.

“Just an all around jolly guy that would do anything for anybody,” Earl said.

Prior to his retirement, Richard worked as a full-time contractor, according to Earl. He was also a Vietnam veteran.

The Portland Fire Bureau is receiving assistance from the Portland Police Bureau, Gresham Fire Department, Oregon State Police and ATF with the on-going investigation.

KOIN 6 News Reporter Eileen Park contributed to this report.