A suburban neighborhood in Pittsburgh was rocked by a house explosion that resulted in several injuries, three fatalities, and set multiple homes on fire, as confirmed by local police. The calamity struck on a quiet Saturday morning, when a distress call was received by emergency services about a house explosion in Plum Borough, at the intersection of Rustic Ridge Drive and Brookside Drive.
First responders rushed to the scene and were met with a horrifying sight – people trapped under debris from a house that had exploded, and two other houses fiercely ablaze. The explosion had a ripple effect, causing significant damage to several other homes in the area, including shattered windows. The aftermath was devastating, with three homes completely destroyed and at least twelve others suffering damage.
The Plum Police Department and the local fire department were the first to respond, with additional support provided by Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, who dispatched water tankers to the scene. A coordinated effort by 18 different fire departments helped to douse the flames and carry out rescue operations. Officials from Allegheny County Emergency Management and Fire Marshals were also present on the scene.
The rescue crews had their work cut out for them, as they had to inspect nearby structures and check gas lines for potential leaks. As per the police, three individuals were rushed to local hospitals for treatment, while three others are still missing. Amie Downs, the director of communications for Allegheny County, confirmed that the scene remains active.
George Emanuele, a local resident, shared his experience with TribLIVE. He was having a sandwich when the explosion happened, initially mistaking it for a roof collapse. Emanuele and another neighbor managed to rescue a man from the backyard of the exploded house before the fire spread. The man, a resident of the exploded house, warned Emanuele about a large quantity of ammunition in the house. TribLIVE reported that subsequent explosions could be heard after the initial blast.
Jeremy Rogers, another local resident, reported damage to his home, which is located two houses away from the explosion site. Rogers was alerted to the incident by his Ring doorbell while he was out shopping. Upon checking his video feed, he saw debris flying around. His family was able to escape safely, but his pets were left inside. Firefighters allowed him to rescue his dog, but he was unable to save his cats.
Amy Cooper, another neighbor, likened the explosion to a bomb going off. The blast caused plaster to fall from her ceiling and shattered her windows.
Downs stated that a briefing will be scheduled at Ridge Top Park on Ridge Top Drive once more details and updates are available.