A raging house fire led to discovery of the victims and the arrest of their grandson.

Firefighters discovered two bodies inside a burning house on the north side of Vaughn Bay during the evening hours of May 17. A third resident was missing.

Units from the KP Fire District, District No. 5 and Kitsap County responded to the two-alarm fire after reports of several explosions. Firefighters detected large amounts of accelerant, as well as evidence of homicides committed before the fire was started. 

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department detectives searched for the third resident, the 26-year-old grandson of the deceased couple, and a vehicle belonging to the victims. 

The vehicle was spotted at a Lakewood apartment complex around 4 a.m. May 18. The suspect was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder.  

Editor’s note: The deceased, Ted Ralston, 71, and his wife, Joanna Gormly, 73, were active community volunteers and part of our Key Peninsula News family. We will fully report on their lives and our loss in the July edition.