Sunday, February 21, 2010

Explosion Levels a House in Poland

From: WYTV
There is nothing left of the home which used to sit at 2816 Center Road, after a suspected gas leak caused the house to explode Saturday morning.

"It was very loud, it was a loud bang, it was very fast.", says Cheryl Solic, who witnessed the explosion from her home next-door.

"We immediately had fire throughout the house, and within a very short period of time, the entire front of the house collapsed.", says Fire Chief David Comstock, Jr., Western Reserve Joint Fire District.

When the first crews got on scene they opened the front door to the home and immediately smelled gas. That's when they shut the door and say the home exploded, literally blowing firefighters away from the house and into the snow bank, trapping a few of them underneath the porch, which collapsed.

A handful of firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries from battling the blaze, and being trapped under the debris. Chief Comstock says,

"Three were released, two are still being evaluated but they were very fortunate, I have to say the Lord was looking down on them, because it could have been very serious."

Luckily, no one was inside the home when it blew up. Neighbors say the family who lived there had trouble with their furnace earlier in the week, and reported a possible gas leak to Dominion East Ohio. Apparently they had come back to check on their home right before it exploded.

"The mother and daughter of the home were very distraught, they were in a car over here, and of course they were very upset, crying and watching their whole house, and their whole life go up in flames.", says Solic.

We're told the family is staying with relatives. Neighbors say someone from the city or county called to let them know about the leak, and told them to get away from the house minutes before the explosion.

Solic says the situation wasn't handled well-- especially since Dominion knew there was a gas leak in the home days ago.

"Somebody dropped the ball somewhere with notifying other neighbors that there was a gas problem over here.", says Solic.

Fire crews spent the rest of the morning dousing flames and smoke. The Chief says gas is the primary suspect, and the home is a total loss. The State Fire Marshal's Office and local Metro Arson Strike Force continue to investigate.