PLUM, Pa. (KDKA) - Local business owners are stepping up to help the Plum Borough community and those affected by.
A deadly explosion has filled Plum Borough with heartbreak, but people are coming together in incredible ways.
"Being a business in Plum, it's nice to have some kind of resources to be able to give back. So, we figured it would be something little we'd be able to offer, trying to do this a little bit in between other jobs," said Chris Ayers, a registered plumber with EH Miller Plumbing in Plum.
Ayers knew they had to do something to help. EH Miller Plumbing, located in the borough, is one of many businesses stepping up to assist families. They're offering free gas inspections to their community.
"To make sure that their houses are safe, give them a little bit of comfort," Ayers said.
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office confirmed the house that exploded on Rustic Ridge Drive Saturday was having hot water tank issues, and they will investigate that and all other possibilities.
Nearly 20 homeowners have set up appointments with EH Miller Plumbing to check for gas leaks or issues, with the first scheduled for Wednesday.
"We'll check their meter outside just to sniff around. We'll use bubbles and a gas detector, and if there's any lines exposed to the eye, we'll be able to do the same thing throughout the house, appliances, gas water heaters, dryers, and stoves. If we do find any leaks, we'll advise them it should be looked at and be taken care of by a professional, whether it be us or their normal plumber," Ayers said.
Ayers said anyone interested in a free gas inspection reach out to the plumbers on Facebook or call 412-380-8000.
FASTSIGNS in Monroeville is printing their support onto yard signs.
"It just says 'Prayers for Rustic Ridge,' with purple and gold," said Corey Smith, owner of FASTSIGNS in Monroeville.
Smith decided to sell the signs for $20, which will soon be available for pick up at their shop at 4051 William Penn Highway. He will choose a pick-up location in Plum as well. Anyone interested can call 412-374-1420 or email: email@example.com.
All proceeds from the signs will go to the families of the five people who lost their lives and those with damaged homes.
"I grew up in Plum and just coming from the community, there's a huge sense of togetherness there, and when something happens, they all group together, and I knew with a little bit of effort if I started it, they would do the rest," Smith said.
He expects to print more than 1,000 signs. They're showing families they are not alone as the community starts healing together.
"Let's just scatter them everywhere, that's what we hope to see," Smith said.
Smith said an organization called Angels In DaSkys is helping collect the funds for their sign sale. They set up an account at S&T Bank called Rustic Ridge for anyone interested in donating that way. You can learn more information on their Facebook post.
The Plum Mustang Foundation is selling bracelets at PMFA Stadium in Plum on Thursday. Jen Mascaro is on the executive board of the foundation. She said the purple and yellow bracelets are $2 each, and all proceeds will go directly to Rustic Ridge families. Mascaro said they expect to make $4,000 from the fundraiser.
The Plum Mustang Foundation also has established a fund to help the families impacted by the tragedy. Thousands of dollars have already been committed to the cause. You can learn more information on the foundation's Facebook page.
Simply Stunning Hair Salon is raffling off a $250 gift card to the salon. Tickets are $25 each.
One Eye At a Time Fishing Charter is raffling off tickets at $10 per ticket and they will donate the full amount to Casey Clontz's wife. Clontz and his 12-year-old son, Keegan, were among the five people killed in the home explosion. The owner of the fishing charter posted on social media that the Lake Erie fishing charter will be for the next season for the date of the winner's choice. To find contact information, go to their Facebook page.
Lelulo's Pizzeria is hosting its second annual kickball tournament on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the borough fields. Proceeds from the tournament will go directly to Rustic Ridge families. There will be baskets, 50/50 raffles, and food trucks.
Favero's Hair Salon is raising money for the Clontz family, accepting cash donations between now and Sept. 2. The salon said it will match every dollar donation up to $1,000, and everyone who makes a donation will be entered into a raffle to win a $100 gift certificate.
Carls Tavern is holding a bingo night on Monday Aug. 21 from 7-9. Part of each game will go to help the Clontz family, with the tavern matching all the money raised.
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