The Terrifying 911 Calls Made The Day Josh Powell Blew Up His House
The just-released 911 calls from the frantic social worker, as Josh Powell blew up his house, killing himself and his two sons.
Operator: "Ma'am, were you calling about the fire in the 82-hundred block?"
Social worker: "Yes! He exploded the house!"
Operator: "Do you know if anyone's in the house?"
Social worker: "There was a man and two children. I just dropped off the children, and he wouldn't let me in the door."
The social worker can't believe the house had exploded right in front of her eyes.
Social worker: "He just opened the door. The kids were one step ahead of me. They're five and seven. They were one step ahead of me, and he slammed the door in my face."
She made it clear to the 911 operator, this was no accident.
Operator: "And you think he might have done this intentionally?"
Social worker: "Yes!"
That was the second 911 call she made.
In the first 911 call she made, the moments after she first dropped off little Charlie and Braden for a supervised visit with Powell, she said, "Something really weird has happened. The kids went into the house and the parent, the biological parent, whose name is Josh Powell will not let me in the door. I'm really shocked and I could hear one of the kids crying, but he still wouldn't let me in."
We now know Powell was brutally attacking his sons inside the house with an ax. Outside, the social worker smelled gas and started to panic.
Social worker: "I'd like to pull out of the driveway 'cause I smell gasoline and he won't let me in."
For nearly seven minutes she pleaded with the 911 operator to send help right away and got this response:
Social worker: "How long will it be?"
Operator: "I don't know, ma'am. They have to respond to emergency life-threatening situations first."
Social worker: "This could be life-threatening. I'm afraid for their lives."
At the same time, Josh Powell's sister Alina also called 911 after receiving an ominous voicemail message from him.
The message was, "Hello, this is Josh. And I'm calling to say goodbye."
"I'm terrified to drive over there. I'm afraid of seeing something I don't want to see," Alina told 911.
At that point, the house was an inferno with neighbors desperately calling for help.
Caller: "The house just blew up and it's on fire."
Operator: "Do you see smoke and fire?"
Caller: "Yes, and a loud, huge boom."
The social worker, identified as Elizabeth Griffin-Hall, is devastated because she was powerless to save the boys, whose funeral is Saturday.
Her husband gave Seattle's KING-TV a phone interview and said, "She has of course bonded with these boys. And it was just devastating to her to have had this happen."