New Castle News

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January 6, 2014

Cause of fatal Mercer County blast undetermined

CNHI — A Mercer County explosion killed one man Saturday and put another in the burn unit in St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Thomas R. Kobielus, 43, of 659 Bedford Road died of flash fire burns inside his unatttached garage, according to J. Bradley McGonigle III, Mercer County coroner.

Kobielus and another man were working on snowmobiles in the garage when an explosion set the structure ablaze about 5:40 p.m., Shenango Township (Mercer County) fire Chief Bill Williams said.

A 14-year-old boy close to the garage was taken to Horizon Hospital in Farrell and released a short time later, Williams said.

The fire chief said that as of 6 a.m. yesterday the other man in the garage was in the burn unit at St. Elizabeth in Youngstown.

The cause of the explosion is undetermined at this time, according to Williams. The state fire marshall is still investigating.

“We’re not sure what happened,” Williams said. “We won’t know a lot until the guy gets out of the burn unit.”

(Melissa Klaric writes for The Herald in Sharon.)

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