PLUM BORO (KDKA) — Police say a man working on a home under construction in Plum Boro was burned early Monday morning.
He suffered third degree burns to his hands and the blast blew a massive hole in the side of the home, knocking out a cement block wall and sending windows and doors into the backyard.
“You can’t explain. It was more the feeling of the whole house shaking,” said Bernadette DiMaria, who lives across the street and was making her daughter’s lunch to take to school when the explosion happened. “It was a loud boom and my whole house shook. My power actually went out when it happened, so I ran to the front window and I saw flames of fire in between those two homes!”
Another neighbor, Jay Flaherty, also heard the blast.
“A big loud boom!” he said. “We were in the back of the house and it was much louder than any lightning I had been hearing from the storm.”
The house, on Glengarry Court, is part of a Ryan Homes plan. It had a sold sign on it, but neighbors say no one had moved in yet.
Police say it was a contractor who was injured.
“He was attempting to light a propane heater, that’s what our understanding is, for some reason it malfunctioned and exploded blowing up the side of the house and causing some burns on his hands,” Plum Police Chief Frank Monaco said.
The woman who lives closest to the house has damage to the side of her home as well and hopes whoever is responsible will fix it. Everything inside her home fell off a wall during the blast.
Neighbors know the worker who was hurt and their thoughts now go to his recovery. “I think all of us at The Highlands, all the homeowners, it’s tearing me up all day because we are really worried about him,” said DiMaria.
The worker’s name has not been released. So far, KDKA-TV has not gotten a comment from Ryan Homes.
The police chief says the house is not safe and no one is allowed inside. He wondered if it may have to be torn down.
Police say both the Allegheny County Fire Marshal and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.