From Mifflinburg Telegraph Weekly Newspaper
House Explosion Caused by Faulty Water Heater
Oct 26, 2007 - 3:21:20 PM
The 400 block of Market Street in Mifflinburg was closed Sunday morning after an explosion ripped through a home at 424-426 Market St. around 6 a.m. (photo provided)
An electric water heater exploded in a multi-family dwelling on Market Street early Sunday morning, forcing a number of people out of their homes.
According to state police fire marshal Norman Fedder, a faulty valve caused the electric water heater to blow up in the basement on the east side of the building at 424-426 Market St. at about 5:30 a.m., said Mifflinburg Hose Company Chief John Heiges. The building is divided into two sections, with an upstairs and downstairs apartment on the east side and a home on the west side.
The blast was accidental and added that it occurred when a pressure release valve failed and caused a buildup of pressure in the water heater. The explosion blew out windows, broke cement in the basement and tore a hole in the first floor of the building. The second story also sustained heavy damage.
The east side of the structure is sagging, and as a precaution, firefighters have placed plywood over the windows on the side of the house next door in case the ruined building collapses.
Darlene Davis, 54, the first-floor tenant, was home at the time of the explosion. She managed to escape unharmed by crawling out a window at the back of the building with help from her neighbors.
Heather Bierly, 29, who lived on the second floor, was not home at the time.
They, along with the homeowner, who lives on the west side of the building, have not been allowed back in because of how unstable it is. He said they are staying with friends or family.
The building is owned by 27-year-old Eric Tice. Damage is estimated at $83,000.
© Copyright 2007 by Mifflinburg Telegraph Weekly Newspaper