MAHONING TOWNSHIP — A fire Wednesday at a home in Carbon County sent one man to the hospital.
One of the people who lives in the home believes she could have been killed when an explosion and fire broke out Wednesday near Lehighton.
The trouble apparently started with the homeowner changing out one of his oxygen tanks.
It happened around 9 a.m. Wednesday on Todd Lane in Mahoning Township, near Lehighton.
Friends and neighbors were on hand to console Connie Kistler, the owner. Her husband Richard was hospitalized with a burn to his palm.
“That happened so quickly, he could have been knocked out and I could have been upstairs and we both could have been gone because that smoke came in so fast,” said Kistler.
The family says Richard was switching to another tank when something went terribly wrong.
“When he turned it on it exploded. He pushed it away from him and he started yelling ‘get out, get out, there is a fire!’ And he kept screaming and I went to the top of the steps and I’m yelling for him to get out, he’s yelling for me to get out,” she said.
The family believes oxygen fed the fire. A state police fire marshal will try and determine what set off the explosion and fire.
“The inside is pretty much fire damaged. What the fire didn’t do, there was a lot of smoke and water damage. It did make it from the basement to the roof,” said Chief Mark Ebbert, Mahoning Township Fire Department.
The Kistlers will be staying with family.
“Losing my cat was very, very hard. She has been a part of my family for a long time. The pictures, all I was worrying about was the pictures. I have so many pictures,” Kistler said.
The Kistler family says they have a strong bond with each other and that’s one reason why they vow to rebuild.