New Kensington man injures self in pipe bomb explosion
A New Kensington man who police said set off an explosive near his home on Seventh Street on Thursday morning had threatened to burn down abandoned buildings on the street, according to neighbors.
Police say Gregory Domanski, 50, placed the device next to a natural gas meter at an abandoned home within feet of his own house at 858 Seventh St.
The gas at the abandoned house at 860 Seventh St. had recently been turned off because the home is scheduled for demolition by the city, said Detective Lt. Jim Klein.
Although Domanski didn't give police a reason for setting off the explosive, he apparently was upset with the dilapidated state of the vacant home, Klein said. The front porch had collapsed and numerous windows were broken.
“We're not sure if it was an accident or intentional,” New Kensington police Chief Tom Klawinski said of the explosion, which occurred about 10:15 a.m.
Klein said the explosive was either a pipe bomb or a homemade mortar. Visible near the gas meter was a 3-inch plastic pipe mounted vertically on top of a square piece of wood.
The Allegheny County Bomb Squad searched the home Thursday afternoon and found no explosives or similar devices.
Domanski suffered a severe hand injury and head lacerations and was taken by ambulance to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. His condition was not disclosed.
Police had not been called to the home before, Klawinski said.
Neighbors said Domanski has a history of strange behavior. Court documents show he has been arrested for drunken driving, public intoxication, simple assault and disorderly conduct.
Next-door neighbor Kathie Thorhauer said she wrote Domanski's behavior off as more of an annoyance than a danger — until Thursday's incident.
“I'm scared. It's finally hitting me,” she said. “What if that line would have exploded? Would I have had enough time to get out?”
She said the blast was so powerful that it shook her house.
“All of the pictures fell off the wall,” Thorhauer said. Two windows closest to the blast shattered, she said.
Holly Thorn, 23, a neighbor who said she's known Domanski and his daughter for most of her life, said she ran into Domanski's home after she heard the explosion and Domanski yelling for help.
She said she could do little when she saw his mangled hand inside a plastic bag he was using to cover the injury.
Thorn said Domanski has had problems lately.
“He used to be a nice guy over the years, but I think things that have happened to him over the years has taken a toll,” she said. “It's mentally and physically gotten to him.”
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents
- ‘Wax weed’ worries authorities
- Pyrotechnics display turns from benefit to burden in Tarentum
- Plum landslide to be fixed after year
- United Way Impact Fund Grants to award $445K to 26 Butler County nonprofits
- Ex-church youth leader to face trial for forcing teen girl to have sex
- Man who threatened to jump from Tarentum Bridge in custody
- New Kensington residents rally in support of 82-year-old robbery victim
- State store relocates to Highlands Mall
- Lower Burrell couple charged with 6 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty
- Freeport VFW initiates its ‘monumental project’