Investigators search for clues at home leveled following explosion and fire

Published: 2:49 PM EDT Mar 22, 2013   Updated: 11:03 PM EDT Mar 22, 2013
Penn Forest fire scene

An explosion and fire in a Carbon County home destroyed it just as the owner was driving up to check on it.

Investigators say they are still looking for the cause of the fire.

The chief of the Penn Forest Fire Department tells us he has a couple of leads in the investigation but can't give any more details than that.

The pictures show total devastation of a home on Sugar Pine Drive in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County.

"There were no neighbors with the exception of one that was a distance away and heard an explosion that peaked her interest," said Bruce Miller, chief of the Penn Forest Township Fire Department. "And when she looked out her window she saw large volumes of smoke and fire."

The call came into the Carbon County Communications Center around 2:00 Friday afternoon.

The one-alarm fire quickly turned into a three-alarm blaze.

Crews called for help from Carbon and Monroe counties.

"Approximately ten departments from the surrounding counties," said Miller.

Hours after the fire started and right around the time crews had it under control the homeowner arrived from Stroudsburg.

"She was completely surprised by the devastation," added Miller.

"They were actually coming up for the weekend. It's a weekend home that they reside in and they were coming up to check on it and they were going to stay here over the weekend."

There are no fire hydrants in the area and crews had to rely on tanker trucks but thankfully didn't lose any water flow.

Penn Forest Township Chief Bruce Miller tells 69 News fighting these type of fires is tough because many of the homes are spread out across 76 square miles in the township.

"Unfortunately incidents like this occur because there are no surrounding neighbors. And by time we are called it's usually too late," said Miller.

Chief Bruce Miller and the state fire marshal will be back out at the scene Saturday to try and find out how the blaze started.

The chief says there is a lot of debris to sift through and he is not sure how long the investigation will take.