Junior firefighter killed when item in trash explodes

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. — Investigators are trying to figure out what went wrong after a Clearfield County teenager was killed while throwing out and burning trash.

Pennsylvania State Police are describing the death of 15-year-old Thane Lucas as a freak accident.

The junior firefighter was putting a bag of garbage in a metal barrel Tuesday night when something exploded and hit him in the neck, investigators said.

Lucas was flown to UPMC Altoona and died there from his injuries.

Lucas had been a member of the Community Volunteer Fire Department of Mahaffey since last March.

Those who knew him best said this is a tremendous loss to the community, and they are grateful for the ongoing support.

Channel 11 still working to determine what kind of materials caused the explosion in the first place.

Lucas' funeral will be held on Saturday.