Local officials in Plum, Pennsylvania have announced that three houses will be demolished, and 10 others are currently uninhabitable following a devastating house explosion earlier this month. The explosion, which occurred on August 12th, resulted in the death of six people.
The blast completely leveled one home and caused the neighboring two houses to be engulfed in flames. Authorities have determined that the 10 uninhabitable homes will require evaluation by structural engineers before any further action is taken. Investigators from the county fire marshal’s office are still working to determine the exact origin and cause of the explosion in a development located approximately 20 miles east of Pittsburgh.
All six victims were found at the property of the house that exploded, with one victim discovered outside of the garage area, four others located in the basement, and the final victim rescued from the rear yard. Despite being transported to a trauma center, the sixth victim unfortunately succumbed to their injuries several days later.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has ruled out the possibility of natural gas from an abandoned underground mine being the cause of the explosion. Authorities have revealed that the homeowners were experiencing issues with their hot water tank, which is now a focal point of the investigation into the incident.
Emergency response to the explosion involved the efforts of 38 fire departments, as well as three police departments and eight EMS agencies from both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Numerous teams collaborated to extinguish the flames and provide medical assistance at the scene.
As investigations continue, the community mourns the loss of life and the residents affected by this tragic event must grapple with the displacement and destruction caused by the explosion.