WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) — A natural gas explosion sent a destructive shockwave through a community in Washington County.
Officials said the explosion happened in the 100 block of Park Lane on Wednesday in North Franklin Township. The blast knocked down doors, blew pictures off walls, caused a lot of structural damage and demolished a home.
Officials said five people were transported to the hospital, including three firefighters and the homeowner.
Two firefighters were sent home from the hospital Wednesday night. The other firefighter remains overnight for observation for what appears to be non-life threatening injuries, officials said.
Many residents can’t sleep in their homes until they learn their residence is safe.
“It’s very heartbreaking to see yourself just shattered to pieces, especially moments that come from vacations and my wedding,” neighbor Tabatha Hurst said. “It’s very emotional.”
Hurst lives behind the home that exploded. Her place looks ransacked and a sliding glass door was blown off its frame.
WATCH: A live report from KDKA’s Paul Martino.
“I was so traumatized and shocked,” Hurst said. “And I just kept thinking, ‘Oh my, God. My house. It’s a mess.’ And now that I see it more, there’s just so much damage.”
Rhonda Wylie is next door and she believes the blast lifted the roof off her home.
As bad as the damage is to the neighbors’ homes, nothing compares to the blast site.
“I’m just very, very thankful everything is OK with her,” Hurst said. “It’s devastating to see that there is no house there. She has nothing. Everything is gone.”
The state police are investigating.
Columbia Gas issued this statement:
Columbia Gas has completed the inspection of the affected gas system in Washington Pa. Relights began at approximately 11:00pm and will continue throughout the night. To learn more about the relight process, please visit ColumbiaGasPA.com/relight.
The interruption of service and steps we are taking are out of an abundance of caution. As always, if you smell gas please get to a safe place and call 911 and Columbia Gas at 1-888-460-4332.
All Columbia Gas employees and contractors wear a company-issued ID badge with their photo on it.
Homes where service has not been restored are asked to keep their porch lights on. For customers not home during the service restoration process, door hangers will be left at their homes informing them of the outage and requesting they call Columbia Gas at 1-888-460-4332 for a service technician to be dispatched to restore service to their homes.