Nanticoke, PA – An explosion and fire caused extensive damage to a home in the 100 block of West Church Street in the city Sunday evening.

Fire Captain Mark Boncal said there was a strong odor of natural gas in the area prior to the blast at about 6:20 p.m.

A property manager who was in the basement at the time of the blast escaped and refused medical treatment, Boncal said.

No other injuries were reported.

The blast originated in the basement, Boncal said, and is under investigation. A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal has been contacted.

“UGI did respond to the incident in Nanticoke. Our crews shut off the natural gas supply to the property,” UGI Utilities spokesman Joe Swope said in an email Sunday night.

“Initial leak surveys have found no indication of a gas leak on UGI facilities. We are cooperating with officials on the investigation,” Swope added.

Neighbors who gathered at the scene, but declined to give their names, said they smelled gas, heard the explosion and saw the chimney falling down.

Another neighbor, Lori Maute, desrcribed the sound.

“We live around the corner, we heard a boom, them immediately after the house shook,” Maute said.

Allentown blast

Sunday’s incident in Nanticoke comes hours after an early-morning explosion and fire damaged 10 row houses in Allentown, about 70 miles away.

According to the Associated Press, that incident blew the front off one row house and caused a fire that spread to nine others. One person was taken to a hospital for an injury described as minor and a firefighter was treated for a shoulder injury.

The cause of the Allentown blaze is under investigation, and arriving crews didn’t detect any odor of natural gas there, the AP reported.