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Looming questions after Lancaster County home explosion

Family and neighbors still have questions about what caused Monday's explosion, but the investigation is still ongoing, and answers remain scarce.
Credit: WPMT
The home was completely leveled after an explosion which resulted in the death of the homeowner.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Update, Sept. 22, 9:36 a.m.: The Lancaster County Coroner's Office released the cause of death for the homeowner who was killed in Monday's explosion.

Harvey Winters, 68, died as a result of smoke inhalation and thermal burns. The coroner ruled that his death was accidental.

The coroner's office says an autopsy was conducted and a preliminary investigation at the scene revealed no suspicious circumstances.

Previously: Officials are still investigating the cause of Monday’s explosion at a home in West Donegal Township, as well as the cause of death for one man. Many questions are still unanswered as investigators continue to undercover what led to the explosion.

Harvey Winters, age unknown, was killed because of the explosion. His wife survived and appeared uninjured. Winters' family could be seen at the leveled remains of the home on Tuesday, attempting to understand how a place of safety was reduced to rubble and ash.

Neighbors are also waiting to receive answers.

“It was so loud, and the house shook that I thought it was something in our home,” said Kim Robertson, a Lancaster County resident.

The explosion lifted the home from its foundation and spread debris across Bossler Road. Authorities had the road shut down throughout most of Monday until the scene was eventually cleared. People can drive down the road and see the leveled remains.

“I just couldn’t believe it, I mean it was just, just nothing left,” Robertson said.

Harvey Winters, the homeowner, was discovered by emergency crews shortly after their arrival on the scene. On Tuesday, family and neighbors were seen embracing one another on the property.  

“I just feel for the family, it was a horrible thing,” Robertson said.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. However, neighbors suspect it had something to do with gas or propane.

“They had propane tanks so I’m thinking probably that could be what it was,” said Shirley Reigle, a neighbor on Bossler Road.

“We were evacuated because they said there were active propane tanks and we had to get out of the area,” Robertson added.

On Tuesday, Winters' family was observed sifting through the rubble, attempting to recover what little was spared in the explosion.

“I just pray to God that they can heal, and I know God is with them,” Robertson said.

FOX3 reached out to the Northwest Regional Police Department to see when information about the cause of the explosion will be released. The department responded citing the investigation as still ongoing and no timeline was given for when the information will be made public.

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