The Allegheny County Fire Marshal is investigating what caused a home explosion Saturday in Moon Township that leveled one home and sent two people to the hospital.
Moon Fire Chief John Scott said 30 homes or roughly 90 people had to be evacuated immediately after the blast destroyed 1656 Charlton Heights Road around 6:30 p.m.
Shawn Landa, 47, was inside the home when the explosion
happened and was found in the front yard under debris.
Donna Arndt, who lives a few homes down at 1666, said her family was returning home from dinner, ready to back into their driveway when they heard a loud boom and saw sparks flying high above the trees.
“We pulled in the driveway here and got out. I was walking down and I could hear someone yelling ‘help me, help me.’”
Her husband and others went to aid Landa, who was flown to the hospital.
“He just looked totally dazed…His hands and feet were definitely burned,” she said.
Her son in law ran to help Allen Lisica, 61, who could be heard calling for help inside the house next door at of 1654 Charlton Heights Road. He was rescued from debris and taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
Scott said both men remained hospitalized in stable condition Sunday. A Moon fireman assisting at the scene also suffered a sprained hand.
The explosion affected more than a dozen homes in the area, from damaged windows to drywall cracks. Neighbors on nearby Landsdown Drive felt vibrations, and some as far away as Sewickley.
Evacuated residents were allowed back in about five hours after the incident, Scott said.
Four homes remain uninhabitable, including Landa's. Police recovered about a dozen guns and marijuana plants next door at 1660 Charlton Heights Road, one of the homes rendered uninhabitable.
Columbia Gas was notified of a strong odor of natural gas that
was smelled after the blast, but Rachel Ford, spokeswoman for Columbia Gas,
said they didn’t find any leaks or other safety concerns that would have led to
Crescent, Coraopolis, Sewickley, Forest Grove and Imperial fire departments assisted. On Sunday, workers used heavy machinery to remove debris and rubble from the site.