No one was injured when a powerful explosion in a Dover Township home blew out the entire left wall, knocked the bricks off the front wall, and brought down the front porch roof.
The home in the 5000 block of Carlisle Road went up in flames after the explosion at around 9 a.m. Friday, and was left structurally unsound.
Chief Dave Nichols of the West Manchester Fire Department said it was "pure luck" that the man who lived in the home was not there, that no one was driving by the house, and that no one was in the parking lot of the Dover Animal Hospital next door, which was evacuated after the blast.
"Had he been inside the house, I think we would have had a much different outcome; serious injuries at a minimum," Nichols said. "There is glass and debris that's embedded into the ground 50 feet, 100 feet away from the structure."
The only occupant, 82-year-old Charles Pike, had left the house just a few minutes before the blast, according to his son, Dr. Daniel Pike, a veterinarian at the animal hospital.
"He actually joined the YMCA about three months ago, thankfully he did, and he was on his way to a yoga class," Daniel Pike said. "So, it's kind of funny that yoga saved him, but that's what happened."
Officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosion. A state police fire marshal will resume the investigation on Monday.
Columbia Gas officials said there is no gas leak in the area.
The loud blast shocked Betty Sunday, who lives down the street.
"I heard the loud boom and my house shook," Sunday said. "I had to go see what was going on."
Carlisle Road, also known as Route 74, was closed in the area while firefighters were on the scene, but has since reopened.
Dover Township's public works department used heavy equipment to assist firefighters in putting out hot spots. The fire was under control by 10:30 a.m.
Nichols said West Manchester Township and surrounding municipalities responded to the incident because the volunteers of Dover Township's fire department were attending the funeral of a firefighter who recently died.