A fire believed to be caused by an explosion in Indiana County took the lives of a nine-year-old girl and her mom and dad early Sunday morning. The accident happened west of Indiana proper in White Township. The family's two dogs were also killed in the fire. The family was found dead together in a back bedroom.
The Indiana County coroner will begin performing autopsies today to determine the exact cause of death for each of the victims. In addition to the nine-year-old girl, her 27-year-old mother and 28-year-old father were also killed.
The accident took place at 105 Keystone Drive in a mobile home park between Philadelphia Street and College Lodge Road near IUP Coop Recreation Park. Police, firefighters, and ambulance crews were summoned shortly after 3:30 a.m. when neighbors of the family awoke to the sound of an explosion. Witnesses say flames shot nearly a hundred feet into the air.
Arriving first on the scene, the Indiana Fire Department had difficulty battling the blaze and was eventually helped by the Homer City Fire Department, which arrived about an hour later. The Coral-Graceton Fire Company air-tank supply unit was then called to the scene about an hour after that.
A fire marshal from the Pennsylvania State Police apparently did a full investigation, but has not released any details or an official report as to the cause of the accident. However, witness testimony shows that it was likely caused by an explosion in the mobile home. Mobile home explosions are generally caused by gas leaks or faulty propane tank valves and/or apparatuses.
Police told reporters that the time of death for the family was 5:08 a.m., but that they likely died shortly after the explosion, closer to 3:30 a.m. Neighbors told police and reporters that the couple have two other children, but it was eventually found out that they had been spending the night at a relative's home.
Explosions that happen as the result of someone else's negligence can cause injuries and deaths to innocent people and leave families in disarray. But this disturbing story is not dissimilar to other fire and explosion stories we read about or see on the news almost every day. If you or your family has suffered from injuries, or if you have lost someone due to an explosion and subsequent fire, please call the personal injury attorneys at Goodrich & Geist today for a free preliminary consultation at 800-806-2456.
Source: IndianaGazette.com, "Fire claims three lives near Indiana" 18 May 2014