Investigators find two bodies in burned Washougal home

Investigators find two bodies in burned Washougal home »Play Video
A investigator walks through the rubble of a home that burned to the ground as a man fired multiple rounds from rifles and handguns Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, in Washougal, Wash. (AP Photo/The Columbian, Zachary Kaufman)

WASHOUGAL, Wash. - Investigators said they found two bodies inside a Washougal home that burned through most of the day on Wednesday as someone inside shot at people who got close.

Police also found what one sourced called an "arsenal" of weapons in the home.

Investigators from several agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were on the scene all day Thursday trying to piece together evidence from the bizarre incident.

Police have not yet identified the bodies they found. Four dead dogs were also found and at least one had been shot.

Reporters on the scene Thursday saw investigators pull several burned rifles and a large ammunition clip from the home. They also brought in a search dog and found the bodies in a different part of the crime scene.

Investigators said they could not tell if the bodies are male or female, or anything else about their identity. They said the owner of the home, Steve Stanbary, is still unaccounted for.

According to a 1995 Associated Press article, Steve Stanbary previously ran afoul of the law in Idaho when police said he threatened to kill his ex-wife. Deputies seized a weapons cache from him and his ex-wife told authorities that "he had enough ammunition for World War III."

In a police report, deputies detailed the weapons they found in Stanbary's house. They included several loaded rifles and handguns, six AK-47s, military gas grenades and a launcher. Deputies said all of the guns were loaded and some were hidden around the home.

His wife, Leona, is also unaccounted for, as is her twin sister Mona Volenski-Daugherty. She was living in the house with the couple.

While police haven't confirmed exactly who was in the home, Leona's 18-year-old daughter wrote on her Facebook page "I love you mom. So very much. I wish you could come back to me. You and Aunt Mo both."

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Investigators said they are still looking for more human remains.

"A lot of the challenge is the devastation in there," said Sgt. Kevin Allais with the Clark County Major Crimes Unit. "We all saw the big flame ball that occurred. We believe that was an acetylene tank that was on the corner. That is what caused the explosion.

The fire started on Wednesday morning. When neighbors and a police officer showed up to help, somebody inside the house starting firing shots.

When the first Washougal Police officer arrived, a suspect fired at the officer's patrol car. At least five bullets hit the car and went through the glass, although the officer was not hit.

The officer drove away and then took cover behind his vehicle but did not return fire. The patrol car was hit by several more rounds by the time the incident ended. The officer was slightly injured by shattered glass and is on “critical incident leave,” according to Sgt. Allais.

The home burned for almost eight hours Wednesday after first responders, including neighbors, were told to leave the property by a gunman inside the burning house.  A SWAT unit was deployed to the scene and schools in the area were placed on lockdown for most of the day.

Fire crews also kept their distance and allowed the structure to burn.

No one outside the home was hit by gunfire but there were several close calls, including one captured on video.