Four killed in Potsdam Washington street blast in Pennsylvania

BOTSTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) – Firefighters are sifting through the rubble of a massive house explosion that rocked the Montgomery County community and killed at least four people.

It happened just after 8pm on Thursday near Hale and Butler streets in Podstown.

“We ran down the street and a house was completely destroyed,” a neighbor told Action News.

In addition to the four deaths, Justin Keller, Podstown borough manager, confirmed that two people had been hospitalized for unknown injuries and two were still missing.

The victims have not yet been identified by police.

Eunice Rome, a neighbor, said she did not know anyone in the house, but her grandson Shane Rome Lawrence said he went to school with some of the children who lived there.

“I’ve cried before because I’m sorry they’re dead,” Lawrence said. “It’s crazy because nothing really happens in Batstown.”

After the blast leveled at least one house, debris could be seen scattered throughout the neighborhood. Drone shots showed the extent of the damage.

Firefighters, police and EMS responded to calls.

The ATF, Pennsylvania State Police, Fire Marshal’s Office and the Red Cross also arrived at the scene Thursday night.

Employees were pouring water at the site of the bombing early Friday morning.

Residents say they heard the sound of an explosion and later saw a fire.

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“The house shook, I thought it was an earthquake. We all came out to see what was happening,” said another neighbor.

Neighbor Christian Gonzalez says he first thought it was thunder.

“I thought there was very heavy thunder nearby, but it shook that area,” he said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Neighbors are still baffled as questions remain.

“My friend and I came here and saw them pulling people out,” said resident Sineer Feldon.

Keller said residents in need of help should come to Podstown Senior High School.

All schools in the Batstown school district were canceled Friday.

In a letter to the families, Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez said, “Our thoughts and prayers go to those families. When schools reopen, our counselors and psychologists will be supportive.”

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