1 person hurt in Sewickley Heights guest house explosion

SEWICKLEY, Pa. — One person was hurt when a guest house exploded in Sewickley Heights on Tuesday.


Crews were called to the 500 block of Backbone Road just before 5:30 p.m. for reports of an explosion.

A plumber with a heating and cooling company was the only person inside the guest house at the time of the explosion.

Firefighters said a gas leak led to the explosion.

Rich Engler lives two doors down and immediately called 911. He told Channel 11 he was the first person to arrive at the scene and saw a man on the ground yelling for help.

“So I get up there and I go, ‘Is anybody here, anybody here?’ and all of the sudden I hear this faint voice, ‘Help me, help me, help me,’” Engler said. “The poor guy was in shock, and I said, ‘How is it possible you made it out of there alive?’ and he goes, ‘I don’t know.’”

The plumber was taken to the hospital with burns on his hands.

Columbia Gas gave Channel 11 the following statement:

“Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania crews responded to an apparent explosion at 543 Backbone Road in Sewickley Heights, Pa. earlier this evening and turned off natural gas service to that residence as a safety precaution. No other customers in the area were impacted by this incident. Columbia Gas had no technicians working at that residence, nor were any crews working in the Sewickley Heights area today.

“It does not appear that any Columbia Gas distribution facilities were involved, and Columbia Gas continues to work with local fire and police first responders to investigate the cause of the explosion.

“Our thoughts are with those impacted by this incident.”

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