EDGEWOOD (KDKA) — A makeshift memorial now sits outside of the home that exploded over the weekend on Garland Street in Edgewood.
Neighbors are still shaken up after the explosion and are left to wonder why the man that lived there took his life.
“All of a sudden, we heard a big boom. All of the homes on this side of the street, they shook,” said family friend Nicole Antolovich. “I look and there’s just flames shooting up to the trees.”
Antolovich lives a few doors down from the home that exploded.
“Seeing someone that you’ve known for many years, their house going on fire, you would be like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is too much,'” Antolovich said.
Police said the man that lived there took his own life by disconnecting the gas line and starting a fire.
“We found suicide notes in the car. His phone was left on the windshield of the car underneath the wiper blade,” said Edgewood Police Chief Robert Payne.
Police said the block had to be evacuated Saturday night, and the bomb squad was called in because investigators thought the car was rigged. Turns out it wasn’t.
“There were a lot of internal problems with he and his family members, specifically several daughters that he had,” said Chief Payne.
The man’s daughter was getting married Saturday. Police believe he never intended to go to the wedding.
“That’s what I was told. The uncle walked her down the aisle. That came from a neighbor at the wedding,” said Chief Payne.
Police said some witnesses noticed some odd behavior the morning of the explosion. They said they saw him walking near the home with a can of gasoline. Then, police learned something else.
“Prior to the explosion, he took the dogs to a relatives home in Wilkinsburg.
Police say they’ve dealt with the man in the past. The chief said officers took a gun from him a few weeks ago.
“I’ve just been praying so much that they’re okay,” said Antolovich.
The medical examiner has yet to release his name.