Explosion, fire destroy Pittsburgh house

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A house in the 4600 block of Friendship Avenue in Bloomfield caught fire this morning after an explosion shortly after 8:30 a.m., an Allegheny County emergency dispatch supervisor said.

The man, whose name and condition were not available, was taken to the hospital, city fire Chief Darryl Jones said.

Tommy Romito, 58, of nearby Cedarville Street, was driving down Friendship Avenue on his way to work when he heard "a big explosion" and thought at first someone hit his car.

He looked around and saw an older man at his window.

"The guy is hanging out his window and said, 'My oxygen tank blew up,'" Mr. Romito said.

Mr. Romito said he pushed in the door, put a blanket around the man and helped him out. Another man also helped at the scene, he said.

The supervisor reported no other injuries, and no one else was home at the time.

Chief Jones said the fire remains under investigation and that the home, which collapsed, is a total loss.

First Published December 13, 2013 9:16 AM

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