Family members camp out at site of Beaver Co. house explosion to keep off looters

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BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. - Family members of a couple killed when an explosion leveled their home in Beaver County Tuesday camped out at the site to keep off looters.

Ray and Janet Trautvetter were killed when their home exploded on Louthan Road in South Beaver Township. The explosion was so strong, debris from the couple’s home was thrown miles away.

The cleanup continues Wednesday, as investigators continue to search for an exact cause. Initial reports indicate that the explosion was likely caused by a leaking propane tank, though the official cause has not yet been determined.

Neighbors said they found documents belonging to the couple more than two miles away. Some of those papers and photos were returned, the couple’s great-nephew said.

“It makes me feel a little bit better about humanity. You know, it’s such a crazy world and nobody had to keep this stuff. I’m just grateful that there’s somebody out there that cared enough about some trash on the side of the street,” he said.

Family members said some of their loved one’s valuables are still spread throughout their property, and they spent the night in a camper at the property so looters would stay away.

The Trautvetters lived at the home for more than 50 years.

Officials said they are still searching for one of two stoves that were inside the home as part of their investigation.

The couple’s insurance company has also hired security guards to keep the property safe while the cleanup continues.