“Co-owner of Home Exploded in Pennsylvania Dies, Along with Wife and Four Others”

By | August 17, 2023

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The co-owner of a home that exploded in Plum, Pennsylvania, has died from injuries sustained in the blast, along with his wife and four others. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but it is believed to be related to issues with their hot water tank. The explosion destroyed three structures and damaged several others. The area where the explosion occurred is surrounded by abandoned oil and gas wells, but none have been identified as being involved in the blast. Peoples Gas has completed system testing and will begin restoring gas service to the area. Associated Press reported

The co-owner of a residence that erupted in a devastating explosion in western Pennsylvania over the weekend has tragically succumbed to his injuries. Paul Oravitz, 56, who suffered extensive burns throughout his body, passed away on Wednesday at a hospital in Pittsburgh. This unfortunate incident also claimed the lives of his spouse, Heather, and four other individuals. The precise cause of the blast, which obliterated three structures and inflicted damage on numerous others, remains under investigation. However, authorities have disclosed that the Oravitzes were encountering problems with their hot water tank. The Allegheny County fire marshal’s office, in conjunction with local law enforcement, is spearheading the inquiry.

The explosion erupted shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, ravaging the community. Alongside Heather Oravitz, 51, who served as Plum’s community development director, Plum Borough Manager Michael Thomas, 57, and three other neighborhood residents lost their lives: Kevin Sebunia, 55; Casey Clontz, 38; and Clontz’s 12-year-old son, Keegan.

The housing development is situated on abandoned mining terrain surrounded by shallow oil and gas wells, some of which have been deserted. While two active gas-producing wells are located within approximately 1000 feet of the exploded home, and a pipeline runs behind the development, there is no evidence suggesting their involvement in the catastrophic blast, according to reports.

Michael Huwar, the president of Peoples Gas, has asserted that the company’s official inspections indicate that “our system was operating as designed.” Following additional system testing with the Fire Marshal’s office and the state Public Utility Commission, Peoples Gas can now commence the process of reinstating gas service. Technicians from the company will conduct safety checks and relight customers’ appliances by going door to door.

As of Tuesday, electrical service had been restored to all homes, except for the three that were destroyed, and gas service had been reinstated to all residences, except for the area directly impacted by the explosion and two adjacent roads.

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Overall, the incident has left the community devastated, resembling a war zone. Investigations are ongoing to determine the exact cause of the explosion and ensure the safety of residents..

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