House explodes outside Pittsburgh, leaving 2 people dead: 'Complete devastation'

A house exploded outside Pittsburg, PA, leaving 2 people dead. (Credit: KDKA)

A man and a woman were found dead after a house exploded in the Pittsburgh area, authorities said Tuesday. 

Emergency dispatchers in Allegheny County said the explosion occurred in Crescent Township in the northwest Pittsburgh suburbs and was reported shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

Aerial images from the scene showed smoking ruins with the structure reduced to rubble and some large pieces lodged in trees above.

"It was complete devastation when we first arrived at scene," Crescent Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Andrew Tomer told KDKA

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Tomer said the man and woman were found dead at the scene. The victims' identities and cause of death have not been revealed. 

The explosion "completely leveled" the home, with arriving units reporting "fire throughout the foundation" and fire along the hillside, Tomer said. The blast also damaged at least two other homes, he said. A private gas well and two propane tanks on the scene were secured, he said.


A house exploded outside Pittsburg, PA, leaving 2 people dead. (Credit: KDKA)

Tomer called the blast "severe, absolutely extreme," adding "You could feel it in your chest." He said it was heard and felt throughout the Crescent and nearby townships and even across the river. At the fire department, he and others immediately saw "a column of white smoke up in the air followed by a thick column of black smoke."

The cause of the explosion is under investigation by the Allegheny County fire marshal's office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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The county's emergency services department said the scene "is in a remote location, and we’re asking everyone to avoid the area in order to allow responders access."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.