Explosion kills two

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
A church bulletin landed on the victim of a home explosion’s car. The rear window was blown out of the car. A church bulletin landed on the victim of a home explosion’s car. The rear window was blown out of the car. -
Debris from the home was across the street and in neighbors’ yard. Debris from the home was across the street and in neighbors’ yard. -
An explosion leveled a home on Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Township on Friday morning. An explosion leveled a home on Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Township on Friday morning. -
Dorrance Township Fire Chief Duane Seltzer enters the scene of a home explosion in the township Friday. Dorrance Township Fire Chief Duane Seltzer enters the scene of a home explosion in the township Friday. - -
State Police Fire Marshal Jamie Sgarlat watches as an excavator moves rubble at the scene of a home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. on Friday morning. State Police Fire Marshal Jamie Sgarlat watches as an excavator moves rubble at the scene of a home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. on Friday morning. - -
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Firefighters watch as an excavator moves rubble at the site of an explosion in Dorrance Township on Friday. Firefighters watch as an excavator moves rubble at the site of an explosion in Dorrance Township on Friday. - -
Debris hangs from trees as an excavator moves debis while looking for a missing man at a home explosion. State Police are investigating the home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. PA. on Friday morning. One person is dead and another believed dead, an excavator has been brought in to search for a missing man, a 20 year old was  injured and taken to the hospital after the home was leveled at 1:40 am May 17, 2019. Aimee Dilger|Times Leader Debris hangs from trees as an excavator moves debis while looking for a missing man at a home explosion. State Police are investigating the home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. PA. on Friday morning. One person is dead and another believed dead, an excavator has been brought in to search for a missing man, a 20 year old was injured and taken to the hospital after the home was leveled at 1:40 am May 17, 2019. Aimee Dilger|Times Leader - -

DORRANCE TWP. — A husband and wife were killed and their son injured when their house exploded early Friday morning.

By Friday evening, the two victims had been identified as Ester Hedgepeth, 66, and Eugene Hedgepeth, 77.

Their son, Nathan Hedgepeth, 20, was found lying on the ground outside the home at 2165 Alberdeen Rd. He was transported to an area hospital and is expected to survive his injuries, officials at the scene said.

The body of Ester Hedgepeth was removed by the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office before 7 a.m. from what remained of the home.

An excavator was brought in to remove charred debris in search efforts to recover Eugene Hedgepeth’s body from the rubble, which was found at about 1 p.m.

Prior to being taken to a hospital, Nathan Hedgepeth told firefighters his parents and a pet cat were inside the house.

Coroner Dan Hughes said autopsies are pending an investigation by the state police deputy fire marshal in Hazleton.

Officials said two explosions occurred at the house, the first around 1:40 a.m. In a release Friday evening, investigators said it was still not apparent what the cause of the explosion was.

About 20 minutes after the first blast was reported, a second explosion occurred at 1:57 a.m. shortly after firefighters arrived at the scene leveling what remained of the house and sending a fireball into the sky.

No injuries were reported to firefighters.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire when they arrived. Tanker trucks were used to transport water from a nearby pond.

Pieces of plywood, shattered wooden studs and insulation littered the area including the yard of a neighbor whose house about 80 yards away from the site had its window screens blown out.

Firefighters were hampered by old vehicles, propane tanks and other items on the property.

Absorbent pads were placed in a nearby stream to collect runoff from the scene as firefighters extinguished hot spots hours after the explosion.

The pile of rubble continued to smolder as the excavator removed charred debris.

Alberdeen Road was closed for several hours but reopened to one lane by daybreak.

A church bulletin landed on the victim of a home explosion’s car. The rear window was blown out of the car.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_TTL051719explosion5-5.jpgA church bulletin landed on the victim of a home explosion’s car. The rear window was blown out of the car.

Debris from the home was across the street and in neighbors’ yard.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_TTL051719explosion6-5.jpgDebris from the home was across the street and in neighbors’ yard.

An explosion leveled a home on Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Township on Friday morning.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_TTL051719explosion1-5.jpgAn explosion leveled a home on Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Township on Friday morning.

Dorrance Township Fire Chief Duane Seltzer enters the scene of a home explosion in the township Friday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_TTL051719explosion2-5.jpgDorrance Township Fire Chief Duane Seltzer enters the scene of a home explosion in the township Friday.

State Police Fire Marshal Jamie Sgarlat watches as an excavator moves rubble at the scene of a home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. on Friday morning.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_TTL051719explosion3-5.jpgState Police Fire Marshal Jamie Sgarlat watches as an excavator moves rubble at the scene of a home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. on Friday morning.

https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_11105-6.jpeg

Firefighters watch as an excavator moves rubble at the site of an explosion in Dorrance Township on Friday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_TTL051719explosion4-5.jpgFirefighters watch as an excavator moves rubble at the site of an explosion in Dorrance Township on Friday.

Debris hangs from trees as an excavator moves debis while looking for a missing man at a home explosion. State Police are investigating the home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. PA. on Friday morning. One person is dead and another believed dead, an excavator has been brought in to search for a missing man, a 20 year old was injured and taken to the hospital after the home was leveled at 1:40 am May 17, 2019. Aimee Dilger|Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/web1_TTL051719explosion7-5.jpgDebris hangs from trees as an excavator moves debis while looking for a missing man at a home explosion. State Police are investigating the home expolsion at 2165 Alberdeen Road in Dorrance Twp. PA. on Friday morning. One person is dead and another believed dead, an excavator has been brought in to search for a missing man, a 20 year old was injured and taken to the hospital after the home was leveled at 1:40 am May 17, 2019. Aimee Dilger|Times Leader
Husband, wife dead; home leveled

By Ed Lewis

[email protected]