An apparent gas leak caused an explosion at 908 Cumberland St. in Lebanon on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in an incident thought by authorities to have been caused by an unexpected collision between a snow blower and UGI gas infrastructure.
Initial calls to Lebanon County Dispatch were logged around 1:54 p.m.
According to the Lebanon Daily News report quoting Lebanon fire commissioner Duane Troutman, the owner of next door Chuck’s Tattooing and Body Piercing was first to notice the smell of gas at the scene. The LDN report also notes that one person was sent to get treatment for smoke-related breathing issues.
The building, owned by StarrWar Properties, is home to Next Level Barber Studio, which was not open at the time of the incident. Although damage was mostly contained to 908 Cumberland, adjacent buildings saw windows blown out.
“It was a super unexpected event,” said Next Level Barber Studio owner Orlando Ilanas. “We are very fortunate nobody was working.”
“We are definitely looking forward to opening back up and getting back to doing what we love in the place we love.”
StarrWar Properties president Noah Starry told LebTown that he was grateful to the first responders who responded swiftly in securing the premises and minimizing damage.
“I am glad that everyone is safe and our tenants were not harmed or anyone else for that matter,” said Starry of the building which is also contains apartments. “Our tenants are currently taken care of for the next few days.”
“We are rapidly working through the procedures to quickly secure the property and start planning for a restoration,” said Starry. “We have restored this facility once, we will do it again.”
Starry noted that he has always been blessed by the support and love of our local community.
“We always find a way through adversity with our Good Lord and the togetherness of our community.”
In an email, UGI spokesperson Joseph Swope confirmed what Troutman had told the Daily News – the company suspects that its gas infrastructure was damaged in the process of snow removal by a third party.
As of Tuesday evening, UGI had secured the area by turning off gas to the building and conducting additional leak surveys in the vicinity.
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