New details released on cause of Shenango Township explosion - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

New details released on cause of Shenango Township explosion

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NEW CASTLE, Pa. - State investigators have released details on a possible cause of Saturday's fatal garage explosion in Shenango Township.


A deputy fire marshal out of the Pennsylvania State Police New Castle post says a torpedo kerosene heater igniting an accumulation of vapors in the garage is the most likely source of the flash fire that killed Thomas R. Kobielus, 43.

Kobielus and a friend, who was also injured, were working on a snowmobile in his two-car garage at 659 Bedford Rd. when the explosion occured around 5:40 p.m.

Kobielus died of flash fire burns. The Mercer County coroner ruled his death accidental.

The deputy fire marshal says, although the kerosene heater is the likely source of the explosion, the fire is still under investigation. Everything points to it being accidental and there's nothing suspicious, he says.

The man in the garage with Kobielus was transported by helicopter to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio with severe burns. He was then taken to an Akron burn unit. His condition is unknown.

Kobielus' son also suffered burns when he tried to help the two men. He was taken to a local hospital. His condition is unknown.

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