Heating System Explosion In Bloomsburg

BLOOMSBURG — It was a blast that rocked Millville Road in Bloomsburg.

Fire officials said a heating system exploded in a home early Wednesday morning, blowing out windows and a door.

The foundation and walls were cracked.

Neighbors said a married couple lived in the home and the man was blown across a room when the heating system blew, but he and his wife are, incredibly, OK.

“We felt it in the house,the whole house shook, these chairs on my porch were actually knocked over from the explosion,” said Michael Harner.

Harner lives next door to where the blast occurred.

He said it was 4:30 a.m. when he felt it.

“The front door, the back door, there was nothing but smoke coming out of it. It was just billowing out,” said Harner.

It was the same story for others in the neighborhood who said they cannot believe this happened.

The explosion was so violent, the house is not safe. The homeowners are staying elsewhere.

“I jumped out of bed and looked out the window. I thought someone had hit my car or hit one of the cars around here,” said neighbor Lois Benson.

“When you’re dealing with furnaces you don’t know what to expect. It does bother me. I’m always watching our furnaces,” agreed Carroll Gunter.

5 comments

  • Bruce Kemmler

    Lets get this straight. Furnaces are warm air and boilers are steam or hot water (hydronic). Usually boiler explosions are directly the result of negeliance in the PROPER servicing of any boiler. Especailly with steam. A devise called a LWC, low water cut-off should of turned off the fuel to the boiler. How-ever if they are clogged from lack of proper, professional servicing then they could explode when water refills the boiler. How-ever a safety releife valve also should of vented off the “exspansive” pressure and limiting the explosive force. With hydronic heating the ” on cycle” may have had a mechanical defect, causing the hot water to reach boiling point, flashed to steam and over 1200 times the exspansive force resulted in an explosion. Let me stress this to the Home Owner. Boilers are regarded as an operating “Pressure Vessel” and require the Proper Yearly Servicing” by a trained professional. Too often is the case when unqualified persons try to do a repair or maintenance and this happens. THIS HOME OWNER WAS LUCKY, usually the exslosie force is so great it results in severe demages and / or death. AS with a HEATING FURNACE, im-proper servicing or yearly maintenance often causes life threating mishaps. IF YOU ARE NOT A QUALIFIED TECHNICIAN, DO NOT FOOL AROUND WITH YOUR HEATING SYSTEM !!,, Another thing, dont ask the counter man at a parts store or hardware store how to fix your problems. They Are Not Qualified Technicians. If they were they would be working some where else. Yes, I am a multi trade contractor with nearly 40 years of experience and proper training,, I have seen it all.

  • Pa property manager

    It must have been very old, models manufactured from around the 80′s to the present have a low water cutoff feature. The boiler will shut down when it’s low on water. Thank god everybody is ok.

    • Tom R

      From Pressenterpriseonline – Water feeding the oil-fired, hot-water furnace was cut off sometime early Wednesday. It was unclear why, Rupp said. It could have been a frozen pipe or a malfunction.

      But without that water, the furnace became progressively hotter as time passed. Then, suddenly, water flow returned.

      When the cold stream hit the red-hot furnace around 4:30 a.m., it exploded into pieces.

      • Emil

        I suspect this was a steam boiler or hot water boiler, if it had water connected to it. Not a furnace. A furnace does not have water, it heats up air.
        Steam is very dependent on water for it’s operation.

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