Oct. 11--An 11-year-old girl was killed this morning when her house exploded in Follansbee, W.V., the likely result of a natural gas leak, the state's deputy fire marshal said this afternoon.
The child's parents and a sibling were injured and transported to hospitals.
Her father went by helicopter to UPMC Mercy Hospital. The mother and sibling went by ambulance to Trinity Medical Center West in nearby Steubenville. Their names haven't been released.
"It appears there was a natural-gas type explosion in the basement of this house that blew up," Deputy Fire Marshal Reed Cook said.
"This gas leak could have actually been inside the house that blew up and seeped outside. We could have had a gas leak outside that seeped into the house."
When the gas is at a high enough concentration, he added, something as simple as flicking on a light switch or the triggering of a pilot light can ignite it.
The explosion in the 2400 block of Eldersville Road in Follansbee, about 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, occurred around 7:07 a.m. The blast was so powerful that it blew out the windows of the Hooverson Heights Fire Department sub-station about 1,000 feet away, Mr. Cook said.
The house, which belongs to George and Tracy Mozingo, was obliterated.
Fire companies had been on scene before the blast in response to concerns of a natural gas odor in the area, according to the sheriff. But they had departed to contact the gas company when the explosion took place.
"We had fire companies here. It was under investigation. And within moments we had the explosion," the sheriff said. "They weren't on scene. They had left to contact other people ... No cause of the odor was found."
Only one neighbor called about the gas odor, and that complaint did not come from the home that blew up.
Jonathan D. Silver: email@example.com, 412-263-1962 or on Twitter @jsilverpg.
Copyright 2013 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette