Bomb maker dies in house explosion
KING 5 News
07:15 PM PDT on Tuesday, April 15, 2008
By DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News
PUYALLUP, Wash. – A convicted sex offender who was apparently making bombs was killed Tuesday morning in an explosion inside a home where he was living.
The blast blew the entire second floor off the home at 160th Street East and 70th Avenue East, showering deputies with ash and debris up to 100 yards away.
"The house was totally engulfed in flames. The explosion took the top floor off," said Pierce Co. Sheriff's spokesperson, Det. Ed Troyer.
"We have children. This is a pretty rude awakening to have our kids see this," said neighbor James Patterson.
Police believe the series of explosions killed 26-year-old Zane Dittman. He had been renting a room at the home, a room he had found in an ad on Craigslist.
Police say Dittman's landlords called 911 Monday night, saying Dittman was acting suspiciously. When deputies arrived, Dittman ran upstairs carrying a dufflebag.
Moments later, the explosions started.
Bomb squad members who feared the home might have booby-traps inspected Dittman's three cars before firefighters could try to save the home.
Dittman was a registered sex offender, convicted of the 2003 kidnapping of a Spokane County boy.
A friend of Dittman's landlords claims they did not know about his past.
Someone who did know about Dittman's past was his former landlord, Lamandalynne Promise. She does not feel sorry for him.
"I don't think anybody should die, but no, not in this case," said Promise.
She rented a room in her Tacoma house to Dittman last year before getting a sexual assault protection order against him. She says Dittman abused her son, but prosecutors refused to charge him,
"It is hard for a five-year-old to convince a jury of 12 a grown man had sexually abused him without the jury knowing prior that he is a sex offender," said Promise.
She says that before she rented Dittman that room, he told her his name was Dittaman. When she checked that name, it did not come up as a sex offender.
Nearby neighbors were evacuated. No one else was injured.