Lackawanna County, PA- A gas explosion blew off the side of a home Thursday evening in Lackawanna County.
The homeowner told us came home from work late Thursday afternoon and discovered a gas leak in his basement. He called 911 and immediately went outside. He said just a short time later his home blew up.
The force of the explosion inside the home on South Main Street in Archbald was enough to blow one side of the house completely off.
Paul Tomko returned from work just before 5 p.m. and found a natural gas leak inside his home.
“I heard a hissing, and I opened the basement door and there looked like a fog downstairs so I quickly exited the building,” said Tomko.
Tomko called 911 and when firefighters arrived, they immediately shut off the gas supply.
“Got a wrench, went to the meter, shut the meter off. I walked away from the meter, my partner and I, and within one second, that’s when the house blew. I was right at the meter when the house blew,” said fire chief Bob Harvey.
“It’s really surreal when you look at it. It really is. It’s like a giant came by and peeled a side of the home away,” added Tomko.
No one was hurt in the blast that was heard and felt by neighbors, including the Evans family across the street.
“We just stood there amazed because it was just shocking. You just see the whole wall just come down,” said Alexandra Evans.
Investigators said the house is unsafe and will most likely have to come down. Tomko said he has insurance and another place to stay and he’s just happy it wasn’t worse.
“Scared but yet grateful, thankful that nobody was hurt. Things can be replaced,” he said.
The state police fire marshal and the Archbald fire department plan to be back at the home Friday to resume their investigation into what caused the explosion.