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Scene of Susquehanna Township gas explosion stabilized

Crews were dispatched to a dwelling fire shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. Later dispatch reports indicate it was a gas explosion.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Update, 6 p.m.: The gas explosion at 3204 Crest Road has been stabilized, according to the Susquehanna Township Police Department

Residents are allowed back in their homes and UGI will be on the scene throughout the night.  

The Susquehanna Township Police Department commended the Progress and Rescue Fire Department, all assisting fire companies, the Susquehanna Township EMS Units and all assisting EMS Units for their assistance today. 

As of this reporting, only two non-life-threatening injuries are known.

First responders will continue to work with the residents of Crest Road throughout the week. Anyone with questions or in need of assistance has been asked to contact the police department at 717-652-8265.

Previously: A little after 9 a.m., emergency crews were dispatched to the 3000 block of Crest Road in Susquehanna Township for the report of a home gas leak.

"The gas leak call came from contractors on the scene that understood that they impacted a gas line," said Susquehanna Township Police Department Director Rob Martin.

Immediately, first responders started looking for the leak and going door-to-door, evacuating neighbors.

“A minute after the officers are on the street, the fire crew determines through their devices that it is a high explosive limit in terms of the volume of gas inside that home," Martin explained. 

The explosion took place just a few minutes later, a little after 9:30 a.m. 

Barry Oliphant, a nearby neighbor, was in his basement when he felt his house and the ground shake.

“I thought my furnace may have exploded," said Oliphant. 

When he discovered it was not the furnace, he went outside to check out what was going on.

"I saw the house had exploded, completely engulfed in flames, it was like a fireball," said Oliphant. 

Oliphant's son-in-law, Brett Scott, was in a nearby Rite Aid when he felt the explosion.

“I saw the traffic lights go out, and the windows shook. It seemed like, maybe a transformer explosion that might have happened in the area," said Scott. “I could see the smoke from a distance and I said that can’t be in our neighborhood."

He says his main concern was making sure everyone was okay.

“This is not a good time of year for things like this to happen," said Scott. 

The home involved was destroyed in the blast.

Hazmat teams were dispatched to the scene, along with several fire companies and other emergency personnel.

Susquehanna Township Police Department Director Rob Martin says the department is going to check the structural integrity of the adjacent homes. 

Officials say the gas was cut off from the homes located on the north side of the street, leaving them without heat. 

The American Red Cross is supporting residents impacted by the explosion and home fire.  

"At the request of emergency officials, a Red Cross Disaster Action Team from the Central Pennsylvania chapter will support an evacuation center for displaced residents in the 400 Block of North Progress Avenue, Harrisburg," the organization said.

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