Punxsutawney, PA Furnace Explosion, Nov 1981



Punxsutawney - A furnace explosion shortly after noon on Friday killed a young child, injured two other members of her family and destroyed a three-story house near here.
Killed in the shattering explosion was CARRIE ELLEN BLOSE, two-year-old daughter of EDGAR and CAROL BLOSE, of Punxsutawney RD 5. Injured in the blast were MRS. BLOSE and her four-month-old-son JOSHUA.
The blast, which caused an estimated $100,000 in damages to the Blose home, occurred a few minutes past noon yesterday. A build-up of steam in a combination wood-coal-natural gas furnace, located in the basement of the home, is being tentatively blamed for the explosion, pending a more thorough investigation of the incident.
MRS. BLOSE and the two children were in the kitchen of the house at the time. The force of the explosion collapsed the floor, dropping the children into the basement of the house located in Punxsutawney RD 5, on LR 33076 between Grange and Sprankle Mills.
A neighbor of the Bloses, Mrs. Bernard Smith, reported that she felt the blast rattle her house about 800 feet away. Moments later she heard MRS. BLOSE call for help and saw her carrying the four-month-old child, JOSHUA. She told her neighbor that CARRIE was still in the basement.
Mrs. Smith immediately called the firemen, Punxsutawney Ambulance Service and Mr. Blose who is a fourth grade teacher at the Mapleview Elementary School, located nearby. Blose and Mapleview Head Teacher John Mayes rushed to the scene and Blose pulled his daughter from beneath a pile of rubble in the basement.
Apparently several large containers of tar were stored near the furnace and had been ruptured in the explosion. The victim was covered with tar as were the mother and other child. All three were immediately transported to the Punxsutawney Area Hospital by the ambulance where CARRIE was pronounced dead.

Indiana Gazette Pennsylvania 1981-11-21