It was an ordinary Sunday afternoon for Jeanine Hughes, when all of a sudden a representative from her gas company, UGI, appeared at her doorstep.
“They knocked on the door and said I had to leave,” she said. “I helped them open all the windows first.”
Neighbors called UGI after catching a whiff of gas while walking their dog in the Millersville, PA neighborhood.
Hughes was in the process of checking into a hotel near Centerville, when she received a phone call from her son in Chicago. He had seen in the news that their house at 206 Springdale Lane, had exploded.
Hughes immediately returned to the scene to be greeted by two UGI officials and one from the sewer authority, who couldn’t explain how the explosion occurred.
“They’ve just told me theories,” she said.
Clearly the explosion was associated with a bad gas leak, as a UGI official told Hughes that gas readings in the area “were close to 100 percent.”
Hughes has since gone through a range of emotions, from shock to relief that she and her family weren’t in the home when the explosion occurred.
“Overall I guess I’m pretty darn lucky,” she said.
Hughes son, Roberto Gutierrez, was able to make it out of the house alive.
“The whole house shook,” Gutierrez said. “Everything was flying everywhere. Things were falling. When we walked outside, you couldn’t see,” he said. “Dust was everywhere.”
Unbeknownst to Hughes, a UGI worker was killed in the explosion, but at the time of the interview she was worried about her cats. “All the doors were open to vent the gas,” Hughes said. “I hope they got out.”
The explosion occured about 12:30 pm Sunday afternoon, killing one utility worker and injuring three others, one of whom is still in critical condition. The explosion completely obliterated the reportedly $420,000 home.
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