Man charged in house explosion in Moon

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A man admitted causing the explosion last month that leveled his house in Moon, destroyed one neighbor's home and damaged several others, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Allegheny County Police.

Shawn Landa, 47, faces numerous counts of arson, criminal mischief and causing or risking catastrophe in the Oct. 12 explosion on Charlton Heights Road, which rocked the residential street of single-family homes, scattering debris over hundreds of feet and sending Mr. Landa and a neighbor, Alan Lisica, to the hospital.

Nine other homes were damaged in the blast, including Mr. Lisica's, which was destroyed.

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Landa had recently attempted suicide prior to the explosion and was "depressed and down on himself" when he broke a gas line that fed gas logs in his basement, then turned the valve on before going upstairs and sitting in a recliner.

"He said that he fell asleep and woke three to four hours later," the complaint says. "At this time, he grabbed a cigarette and lighter. When he struck the lighter, the house blew up."

Mr. Landa told investigators he was influenced by a movie or documentary he watched on the Hindenburg.

"This gave him the idea to blow up the house," the complaint says.

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