‘This is a nightmare’: Pennsylvania home blast victims are remembered by family and friends
While the investigators try to find out why A.J House explosion in Pennsylvania Which killed six people, their loved ones suffer an unimaginable loss.
Bang in bloom, about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh, was so strong that it completely destroyed a home and started multiple fires in nearby homes. The cause is under investigation, though homeowners have had problems with their hot water tank, officials said Monday.
The home’s owners, Heather and Paul Oravitz, were the only members of their family known to have been inside at the time of the explosion. The other four victims are their neighbors.
Among the dead are a proud father who gave his daughter away at her wedding last month, a hockey-involved mum and dad who never misses a game, and a 12-year-old boy described as “1000% born from his mother.”
Here’s what USA TODAY learned about them:
Heather and Paul Oravitz
said Melissa Campbell, a friend of the family who started it GoFundMe A page for the 21- and 23-year-olds who were miraculously not home when the explosion occurred.
“The sheer scale of the devastation and the actual event itself is somewhat incomprehensible,” she said, adding that everyone who knew the Uravitz family was in shock. “When my mind goes to this place because it is inexplicable, I try to focus back on my fond memories of Oravitzes.”
I remembered getting to know the couple over the years as their sons played for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite AAA program, culminating in 2019 when the boys won the National Championship.
Hockey dads travel all over to play games, so they got to know each other really well over the years.
“When you play at this level, you go two or three weekends out of the month and you’re on the road with these people and they become your family,” she said.
She said Paul, 56, and Heather, 51, were “very loyal, very family focused, dependable and kind.”
“They were someone you could laugh with and someone who would hug you when you needed support,” Campbell said.
She said she started a GoFundMe for the couple’s children, Cole and Taylor, as they struggle with the loss of their beloved parents and begin to pick up parts of their lives.
Kevin Sibonia had just witnessed one of parents’ biggest dreams: giving away his daughter at her wedding, according to a Facebook post written by his aunt, Carol Klaus.
The post included a photo of a beaming Sipponia dancing with the new bride at their July 1st wedding.
“We are devastated,” she wrote. “This is a nightmare. It sounds cliché to say that Kevin was one of the best players we’ve ever known, but it’s so true!”
that obituary The post on a funeral website says that friends jokingly referred to Sibonia as “Mr. Home Depot” for his manner with tools and his ability to fix things.
If someone needs help, Kevin will reply, “I have a tool for that!” or “I know a guy,” he usually did, the post reads.
Sibunya has enjoyed going on grand adventures with his wife of 32 years, Kelly Klaus Sibunya, as the couple recently conquered a 24-mile hiking trail from the Grand Canyon North Rim down to the Colorado River and up the South Rim, according to her Facebook posts. .
Other posts show the couple enjoying trips to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Topsail Island, North Carolina.
Claudia Lardizabal, who identified herself as a classmate of Sebunia’s for 12 years, said on Facebook that “his girls meant the world to him.”
He also adored his dog Harper, and was a keen cook and avid cook known for his charcuterie boards, the obituary says.
“The world has lost a remarkable man who touched and influenced countless lives,” the book says. “His death left a void in everyone’s hearts that can never be filled. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. Until we meet again…”
Sibunya is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a grandson, among others.
Casey and Keegan Clontz
Casey Clontz and 12-year-old son Keegan were inseparable, loved ones told Penn Tribune Live.
Jane Clontz, Casey’s wife and Keegan’s mother, told the newspaper that her husband was loving and that Keegan was an older twin brother and a younger sister. He was also a devoted son who was very much his father’s shadow but also “1000% his mother’s son”.
The newspaper reported that Keegan played football with the Plum Mustangs and was to start junior high in a week and a half. Casey Clontz, 38, was a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and made sure everyone knew it, proudly sporting his love for the team on his leg.
Keegan and Casey were happiest when they were spending time on the lake with their family and friends at the lake. They swam, boated, and loved cruising around in their golf cart, their family said in a statement to Tribune Live. “Keegan and Casey will be missed by many and will continue to be loved by many, including This includes their family, friends and community.”
“They are just beginning to get over this horrific tragedy,” says a GoFundMe program started for the family.
“The road ahead for the family is long and arduous, and it will continue to be so.” reads the post.
On Wednesday night, Keegan’s football team and opposing players gathered in a circle around the boy’s initials, which were painted on the 40-yard line, and took a knee for a moment of silence to honor their friend, his father, and the other victims. , mentioned triplife.
Keegan’s jersey number 40 was hung from a post during the match
“All of Keegan’s teammates loved him. He gave 100% every time he was on the court,” Keegan’s coach, Joel Klein, told the newspaper. “(Tuesday’s training) was probably the hardest day of my coaching career.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers invited Keegan’s teammates to their training camp on Thursday after hearing about what they had been through following his death. Some Steelers players then stayed on to sign autographs, the paper reported mentioned.
“They’ve been through a lot the past several days, and I think that’s something that helps them take their minds off everything for a few hours,” Klein said. “It shows these kids another example that people understand and care about.”
Michael Thomas, 57, was a neighbor of the Uravitz family who was in the house when it exploded.
Tribune Live reported that neighbors who attended a vigil for the victims on Tuesday described the corner where the house once stood as a “sibling struggle” because everyone was friends and always spent time together.
Rafal Kolankowski told the newspaper that Thomas once came to help when he was installing concrete steps in his front yard.
“Mike was an amazing guy,” Kolankowski said. “If you needed something, it was there.”
Amanda Lee Myers covers trending news and human-interest stories for USA TODAY. Reach her at AmandaMyers@usatoday.com or follow her at XAmandaLeeUSAT.
This article originally appeared in the USA TODAY: Plum explosion victims: Identification of 6 dead in Pennsylvania house explosion