A homeowner near Pittsburgh blew up his house on his daughter’s wedding day, police said shortly after his body was found in the rubble late Saturday, Sept. 14.
The man had been seen standing in front of his house in Edgewood shortly before it exploded and caught fire, authorities said, but for several hours he couldn’t be accounted for. His death has been ruled a suicide.
Officials are still investigating the explosion’s cause, but “it looks like he disconnected the gas line in the basement of the house,” Police Chief Robert Payne said. “And of course, it wouldn’t take much of a spark to explode the house.”
“This gentleman apparently had some personal issues, and we’ve had information from neighbors that would indicate that there’s a great potential here that he would have blown the house up,” Chief Payne told reporters, KDKA reported.
Neighbors told reporters the home was quickly consumed by flames.
“The house just collapsed in one large movement with a lot of sound to it,” neighbor Dann Laudermilch told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “By that time it was fully in flames. It went up in flames remarkably fast. I thought it would take longer to burn, but it was like a minute and a half—it was crazy.”
Another neighbor described the scene.
“We came outside to see what was going on, and the house was in flames—still standing—but in flames,” neighbor Donna Antolovich told the Post-Gazette. “Three to five minutes before the house blew up, the owner was standing in front of it. After that, nobody could find him.”
Most of the family was out of the house at the time for the wedding, officials said.
Police said they had been to the home before for domestic issues relating to mental illness.
A house next door that was damaged by the fire had recently been sold, and officials say a family had been planning to move in soon.
Woman Dies in Michigan House Explosion, Fire
In related news this weekend, authorities say an eastern Michigan woman was killed and her daughter was injured in a home explosion and fire.
Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said in a statement that the explosion happened Saturday night in the township of Sand Beach.
Hanson’s statement says a 69-year-old woman was trapped inside and died, but her 50-year-old daughter was ejected from the house by the explosion. Firefighters were unable to reach the trapped woman for nearly two hours.
Authorities have not released any information about what caused the explosion. Hanson says the state fire marshal’s office is investigating.
The injured woman was taken to a hospital. No information about her condition has been released.
Hanson’s statement says the women’s names were not immediately released to allow time for officials to notify their families.
The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.