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5 Injuries Reported In North Franklin Township Natural Gas Explosion

NORTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- Authorities are on the scene of a natural gas explosion in North Franklin Township.

Washington County officials said the explosion happened in the 100 block of Park Lane, near Trinity High School. A home was destroyed in the explosion.

WATCH: The director of public safety for Washington County holds a press conference about the explosion.

Jeff Yates, director of public safety for Washington County, said the homeowner smelled gas and called the fire department, which responded with two vehicles.

The firefighters shut the gas off and were in front of the house with the resident when the home exploded, Yates said.

The front door was thrown a few hundred feet away, and two cars were destroyed in the driveway.

"It could have been much, much worse," Yates said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Officials reported five people were transported to the hospital, including three firefighters with the North Franklin Volunteer Fire Company.

Two firefighters were sent home from the hospital Wednesday night. The other firefighter remains overnight for observation for what appears to be non-life threatening injuries, officials said.

One firefighter was thrown 70 to 80 feet into a field, Yates said.

The homeowner walked herself to the ambulance and was bleeding from her head and ears.

WATCH: KDKA's Rachele Mongiovi reports live on the scene.

"In my short time at Columbia Gas, I have not (seen anything like this)," Lee Gierczynksi of Columbia Gas told KDKA.

There is damage as far as four blocks away, with windows and doors being blown off, according to Yates.

"My first thought was an earthquake because everything was shaking," neighbor Courtney Boardley said. "But then went I went outside ... the whole house was gone to the ground. It was just the scariest moment of my life."

Officials are unaware of what caused the explosion and have shut off the gas for about 60 customers, but the homes have not been evacuated.

Columbia Gas said they have no reason to believe there is a danger to other customers.

WATCH: KDKA interviews Lee Gierczynski of Columbia Gas for an update on the explosion.

Neighbors said the force of the explosion was so strong that their houses shook, causing items to fall off the walls.

Columbia Gas received a call around 4 p.m. about the incident.

The state police are investigating.

Columbia Gas issued this statement:

Columbia Gas has completed the inspection of the affected gas system in Washington Pa. Relights began at approximately 11:00pm and will continue throughout the night. To learn more about the relight process, please visit

The interruption of service and steps we are taking are out of an abundance of caution. As always, if you smell gas please get to a safe place and call 911 and Columbia Gas at 1-888-460-4332.

All Columbia Gas employees and contractors wear a company-issued ID badge with their photo on it.

Homes where service has not been restored are asked to keep their porch lights on. For customers not home during the service restoration process, door hangers will be left at their homes informing them of the outage and requesting they call Columbia Gas at 1-888-460-4332 for a service technician to be dispatched to restore service to their homes.

For more information and regular updates, visit or or

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