The victims of the deadly house explosion in southwest Pennsylvania have been identified by their families and local officials.
On Monday, Plum Mayor Harry Schlegel confirmed that two of the deceased victims of the house explosion worked for the small town’s government.
According to Allegheny County public records, the home at 141 Rustic Ridge Drive was owned by Paul and Heather Oravitz.
Heather, 51, served as Plum’s Community Development Director. She was one of five people killed in the explosion, Mayor Schlegel told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Her husband Paul was seriously wounded in the blast. He remains hospitalized in critical condition with burns covering most of his body, Schlegel said.
Michael Thomas, 57, served as Plum’s Borough Manager. His position is appointed by the borough’s council, and serves as the town’s chief administrative officer.
Thomas’s wife, their dog, and their 16-year-old daughter all survived the blast.
The other victims were all identified by their family members,
Casey Clontz, 38, was killed in the blast alongside his son, Keegan Clontz, 12, CBS Pittsburgh reported.
The final victim, 55-year-old father Kevin Sebunia, was a neighbor who lived three houses away from the blast site.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet officially identified the bodies.
Meanwhile, the Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s office has begun an investigation into the cause of the explosion.
According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, ‘the homeowners of 141 Rustic Ridge Drive were having hot water tank issues. The tank was located in the basement of the home.’
The Fire Marshal’s Office said they intended to investigate the hot water tank, as well as ‘all other possibilities.’
Assistant Chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services Steve Imbarlina said the investigation will be a ‘slow and long process.’
‘This investigation may last for months, if not years,’ he said.
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