Allentown, PA – Allentown fire officials ruled out exterior gas line failures as a cause of the incredible explosion Nov. 25 that turned a home in the 1300 block of St. John Street into matchsticks.
Allentown Capt. Ken Bratsch said the cause of the explosion was gas of some type, but that the source of the gas has been traced to inside the home. He said further testing of the home’s interior gas lines and three natural gas-powered appliances — a water heater, a stove and a furnace — will be completed by the home owner’s insurance company.
All foul play or illegal activity has been ruled out.
The explosion flattened the home and damaged the ones on either side — and even cast a garage door across the street. Two brothers and their mother lived in the home. Cesar Coto, 52, and Miguel Irizarry, 41, survived the blast, their elderly mom was not home.
At the time of the explosion, officials said the sheer force of the concussion snuffed out any fire, and likely saved the brothers’ lives.
Bratsch said UGI, the natural gas provider, dug up the lines leading to the home and the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission found no fault with the pipes. He added that the insurance company’s investigation might take up to a year to test and reach a conclusion about the home’s interior fixtures.