The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 14, 2013

Accidental fire causes explosion

Safety business co-owner lucky to be alive

PINE TOWNSHIP — A Pine Township businessman is lucky to be alive after hastily running out of a company building just before it was rocked by an explosion Thursday night due to a blaze, a firefighter said.

Ryan Hall, co-owner of Hall’s Safety Equipment on 139 Gasper Road in Pine Township, was working on a race car in a separate garage area connected to the business office, said Chris Holmes, fire chief of Pine Township Engine Co. The business sells safety equipment to utility companies and the tree trimming industry and the work being done by Hall was not company business.

Around 10 p.m. Hall drilled a hole in the car’s fuel tank that sparked a fire, Holmes said.

“It caught the fuel tank on fire then it caught the car on fire,’’ Hall said in a phone interview Friday morning with The Herald. “I grabbed a fire extinguisher and used it all up and it didn’t seem to help much.’’

After seeing the fire spread Hall said he raced out of the building and shut the door behind him.

“Ten seconds later the gas tank blew up and it blew out all of the garage windows,’’ Hall said. “I could feel the percussion of the explosion.’’

Shutting the door after fleeing the building likely spared the business, Holmes said.

“Thank God he closed that door on his way out,’’ Holmes said. “The fire would have spread to the business side of the building if he had not done that.’’

In addition to Pine Township, fire departments from Grove City, Mercer, Harrisville, Jackson Center and Springfield Township responded to the blaze. Extra fire departments were called in because the area has no hydrant and tankers were needed to extinguish the fire, Holmes said.

The fire was ruled an accident and Holmes estimated the damage would run between $80,000 to $100,000. He added Hall was lucky to escape just in time.

In looking at the damage, Hall said it pretty much gutted the garage. But he realized how fortunate he was.

“It could have been a lot worse,’’ he said. “I’m glad to be here.’’

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.


    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.
     

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo