Man Injured In August Home Explosion Dies

October 13, 2018

The 58-year-old Taylor man who suffered severe burns across his body when his home exploded in August died Friday at a hospital near Allentown, the Lehigh County coroner’s office said Saturday.


Brian Ott passed away at 2:52 p.m. at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest from complications of the burns he suffered when 308 Union St. exploded Aug. 30, according to a news release. 


The manner of his death is listed by the coroner as undetermined. Borough Police Chief Stephen Derenick said Saturday the investigation into why the home exploded is ongoing.


Ott reportedly suffered burns across 85 percent of his body and had been in a coma through at least the end of September.


A presumed gas explosion demolished Ott’s two-story home at about 8:40 p.m. that August evening. The blast was heard from a mile away. The shockwave broke windows in surrounding houses.


Ott survived the explosion. He had been in his cellar as the structure above collapsed. 

“Help me,” he called out from underneath the rubble, rescue crews said at the time.


Freed from the wreckage, an ambulance raced Ott to a helicopter waiting for him at WNEP-TV’s helipad roughly 2 miles away. The helicopter took him to Lehigh Valley Hospital’s specialized burn unit, where he died Friday.


UGI reported that its preliminary investigation did not pinpoint a gas leak in that immediate area.

The probe into why the home exploded has been pending in the hope that investigators would get a chance to speak with Ott. 


Taylor police are investigating with the help of state police Fire Marshal Sandra Van Luvender. Derenick said his department plans to consult with Van Luvender on Monday to determine how to proceed. 


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