Moon house explodes day after similar blast in W.Va.
By Adam Smeltz
Published: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 7:33 p.m.
An explosion leveled a home in Moon and blew out windows in neighboring houses on Saturday evening, sending a fireball into the night sky and two people to hospitals.
It was the second house to explode in the region in as many days.
Stunned neighbors found one injured man covered in debris in front of the destroyed home at 1656 Charlton Heights Road. Allegheny County property records list the owners as Shawn and Sheri Landa.
The force of the explosion blew the front door across the street and toppled a neighbor's chimney, eyewitnesses said.
Emergency responders took Shawn Landa by helicopter to UPMC Mercy, Uptown, and Alan Lisica, 61, of 1654 Charlton Heights Road to UPMC Mercy by ambulance, said Moon police Capt. Greg Seamon.
A hospital spokeswoman said Landa was in critical condition late Saturday and Lisica in stable condition.
Authorities did not know what caused the blast, which residents reported at 6:44 p.m.
Columbia Gas officials shut off service on the street as a precaution, officials said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, Seamon said.
“It just shook all the houses up here,” said Richard Campbell, 66, of Chicora, who was visiting Moon to take care of some of his grandchildren.
Donna Arndt, who lives four houses from the house that exploded, was driving home when she saw sparks flying above trees and heard someone crying for help.
“It was completely leveled,” she said of the home. “It was a two-story brick house that's now completely leveled.”
She said the smell of natural gas wafted through the street after the explosion.
Several fire departments and medics responded, and emergency responders temporarily evacuated people from their homes.
Arndt's father lives next door to her, three homes away from the explosion. She said a picture fell from his wall, and cupboard doors were knocked open. The blast blew a battery out of a phone.
Another neighbor's wall fell on him, and emergency responders pulled him to safety, she said.
On Friday, Hannah Mozingo, 13, died and her parents and sister were injured when their house exploded in Follansbee, W.Va.
Photographer Keith Hodan and staff writer Chris Togneri contributed to this report.
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