East Berlin, PA. – EAST BERLIN, Pa. – A pair of explosions and a fire that destroyed an East Berlin-area home Sunday morning were caused by a propane gas leak in the basement. That’s according to a state police fire marshal from Chambersburg.
The fire sent 1-year-old Adam Harbaugh to York Hospital with burns to his hands and feet. He is expected to be OK.
Trooper Skip Sydnor said the child was sitting in a highchair in the kitchen of the home in Reading Township when fire rolled through a basement door following an explosion.
Another, larger blast followed as firefighters entered the home minutes later. That explosion blew away the front porch.
Neighbors rushed to help after the fire started.
“I saw the smoke coming out from the basement, so I went over. My wife went over, took the baby. Wendy immediately called 911. We started getting things out of the garage. We tried to save everything we could, ” neighbor Neil Bixler said.
Investigators said the blasts occurred shortly after Mark Harbaugh turned on a breaker switch to restore power. The house had been struck by lightning during a Saturday night storm.
Mark Harbaugh, his wife Wendy and a 3-year-old daughter were not hurt.
Damage is estimated at more than $200,000.