2014-01-02 / Local & State

Human Error Blamed In PA Gas Explosion

EPHRATA, Pa. (AP) – Fire officials are blaming human error for a gas explosion and three-alarm fire at a central Pennsylvania apartment building that has left 22 people homeless.

The blast happened Friday morning in Ephrata, Lancaster County.

Lincoln Fire Chief Randy Gockley said a maintenance man working on a furnace capped the wrong end of a gas line, causing natural gas to build up. When the worker lit the pilot light on the furnace, it ignited an explosion.

Officials estimate the blaze caused $300,000 in damage to the building and $200,000 in personal property losses.

There were no injuries in the blaze, although a firefighter collapsed at the scene and was treated at a hospital.

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