Brentwood, PA – Investigators are trying to determine whether a natural gas leak caused an explosion on Thursday that injured the president of Brentwood’s Emergency Medical Services and destroyed his home.
Frank Mihalovich, 69, who owns and operates Frank’s Guns in the basement of his home in the 4100 block of Tuxey Avenue, was taken to UPMC Mercy, Uptown, with burns to his back and head from the explosion and fire that occurred at 4:55 p.m., police Chief Robert Butelli said.
He said he was walking up the (basement) steps when there was an explosion, Butelli said. Natural gas is a possibility.
Gas company workers were going door to door in the neighborhood to make sure there were no other problems, fire Chief Dan Niecgorski said.
Mihalovich, who was the only person in the house, was standing outside when firefighters arrived, Niecgorski said.
The explosion probably occurred in the basement, because that’s where there was the most damage, Butelli said.
The flames began detonating ammunition, keeping firefighters at bay, Niecgorski said.
We never entered the area where the ammunition was stored, he said.
The four walls of the basement were buckled and cracked by the explosion, Butelli said. The blast caused part of the exterior brick facade to fall from the rear of the house, he said.
We have not been able to enter the house yet, because the building inspector said it is structurally deficient, said Joseph Price, supervisory agent in charge of Pittsburgh’s ATF office.
ATF investigators, who were called because Mihalovich is a federally licensed gun dealer, will help determine what caused the explosion and make an inventory of and collect all the firearms in the house.
I was really upset when I heard the news, Mayor Dennis Troy said. I hope and pray he is going to be OK.
An Allegheny County Council Proclamation states that Mihalovich began as a volunteer at Brentwood EMS on May 4, 1980, and was honored at the organization’s 28th Annual Anniversary Dinner on Dec. 10, 2005, for 25 years of distinguished service.
Thursday’s explosion occurred five doors from a house that was destroyed by an explosion and fire on July 31, 2007. An occupant was accused of causing the explosion, but the charges were dismissed in Allegheny County Court.