A residential explosion in a suburb of Pittsburgh resulted in multiple injuries and ignited several homes, according to local law enforcement. The incident occurred on Saturday morning, around 10:23 a.m., when emergency services received a distress call about a house explosion on Rustic Ridge Drive and Brookside Drive in Plum Borough, as reported by the Plum Police Department.
Upon arrival, first responders found individuals trapped under debris from an exploded house, with two adjacent homes ablaze. The explosion also caused significant damage to several other homes in the vicinity, with windows shattered by the force of the blast. The explosion resulted in the total destruction of three homes and caused damage to at least twelve others.
Emergency response teams from the Plum Police Department and local fire department were immediately dispatched to the scene. Assistance was also provided by Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, who sent water tankers to the scene. A total of 18 different fire departments collaborated to extinguish the flames and conduct rescue operations. Officials from Allegheny County Emergency Management and Fire Marshals were also present at the scene.
Rescue crews were tasked with inspecting nearby structures and checking gas lines for potential leaks. According to police reports, three individuals were transported to local hospitals for treatment, while three others remain unaccounted for. Amie Downs, director of communications for Allegheny County, stated that the scene remains highly active.
George Emanuele, a resident living three houses away from the explosion, recounted his experience to TribLIVE. He was eating a sandwich when the explosion occurred and initially thought a neighbor’s roof had collapsed. Emanuele and another neighbor managed to rescue a man from the backyard of the exploded house before the flames intensified. The man, whose house had exploded, warned Emanuele about a large amount of ammunition stored in the house. TribLIVE reported that subsequent explosions could be heard following the initial blast.
Jeremy Rogers, another neighbor, reported damage to his home, which is two houses away from the explosion site. Rogers was alerted to the incident by his Ring doorbell while he was out shopping. Upon checking his video feed, he saw debris flying around. Although his family was able to evacuate safely, his pets remained inside the house. Firefighters allowed him to rescue his dog, but he was unable to retrieve his cats.
Amy Cooper, a third neighbor, described the explosion as feeling like a bomb detonation. The blast caused plaster to fall from her ceiling and broke her windows.
Downs stated that a briefing will be scheduled at Ridge Top Park on Ridge Top Drive once more details and updates are available.