The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 9, 2014

Garage explosion ruled accidental


Herald staff

SHENANGO TOWNSHIP — A weekend explosion in Shenango Township that killed one man and sent another to a burn unit has been ruled accidental by the state fire marshal.

Thomas R. Kobielus, 43, of 659 Bedford Road, Shenango Township, died Saturday night from flash fire burns inside his unattached garage, according to J. Bradley McGonigle III, Mercer County coroner.

Douglas Green, 40, a neighbor, was taken early Sunday to the burn trauma unit at Akron Children’s Hospital. His condition has been unavailable.

The cause of the explosion will remain undetermined until Southwest Mercer County Regional police can interview Green, according to police Chief Riley Smoot.

Kobielus and Green were working on a small engine in the garage when an explosion set the place ablaze at about 5:40 p.m., Smoot said.

Kobielus’ 14-year-old son was blown back from the explosion and suffered smoke inhalation and minor cuts when he tried to get into the garage after it exploded.

He was treated at UPMC Horizon, Farrell.