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No one injured in clothes dryer explosion

| Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 12:56 p.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Manor Firefighters clean up absorbents after a fire at Spic N Span Dry Cleaners in Ford City. Thursday December 12, 2013
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Firefighters responded to Spic N Span Dry Cleaners in Ford City. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 after a explosion in the rear of the building.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire caused by an explosion in the rear of Spic N Span Dry Cleaners in Ford City. Thursday December 12, 2013

FORD CITY – No one was injured after an explosion at a local dry cleaning business Thursday morning along Fifth Avenue and 11th Street.

Ford City Fire Chief Scott Gaiser said the source of the explosion, which occurred at about 9:38 a.m. at Spic ‘n Span, appeared to have originated with one of the dryers in the back area of the building.

“I felt the explosion at my house a half a block away,” Gaiser said.

The business is owned by William Toy and employs 15 people, said Toy's nephew Keith Bell.

Employees were able to safely evacuate the building and keep warm at a nearby residence while area volunteer fire departments and police responded to the scene.

Gaiser said the fire from the explosion was quickly extinguished but there were concerns about the chemicals used at the facility draining from the building.

Firefighters blocked area drains to prevent the diluted chemicals from getting into the sewage system until Randy Brozenick, the county's public safety and emergency department director arrived on scene.

“Everything's safe,” Brozenick said, noting that the chemicals in question were cleaning detergents and solvents and amounted to a small spill which was safely diluted and discharged.

The building is salvageable and dry cleaning goods in the store front appeared to be undamaged, said Gaiser.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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