Harmony Township, PA – HARMONY TWP. Officials in Harmony Township along with Columbia Gas are still trying to determine what caused a house explosion and resulted in a major evacuation of a neighborhood.
Columbia Gas says they are currently checking all the gas lines in the area for additional damage from the explosion, but none has been found so far.
What were doing, is just making sure that theres no additional damage to any of our facilities, says Matt Pitzarella, of Columbia Gas. Our role, right now, is to focus on the investigation, focus on getting people back in their houses, but again, remain cognizant of the people that are outside their houses right now.
In total, 50 people were evacuated from 17 homes, and the gas and electric service completely shut off along Solar Drive in Beaver County.
A fireman came to the side of the house, turned off the gas and told us to leave, Glenn Copenhaver, a resident said.
Authorities say the displaced families are slowly being allowed back into their homes this afternoon and the rest will be able to go back through tonight or early tomorrow.
Luckily, I have family in the area so I didnt have to spend the night in my vehicle with 3 dogs, says Margie McCalmont.
On Wednesday, workers installing a guardrail along Route 989 punctured a gas line.
Officials with Columbia Gas were able to repair that line, but investigators say they believe natural gas somehow found its way into the basement of the home.
A 44-year-old man was flown to Mercy Hospital after he suffered burns to 40 percent of his body. It’s not clear when neighbors will be allowed to return to their homes.