A York County man is lucky to be alive after his home blew up in Dover Township. It happened at 9 a.m. on the 5300 block of Carlisle Road. “I’m fortunate. God was looking out for me. He had to be,” said the homeowner Charles Pike. He left his home just minutes before 9 Friday morning to go to a yoga class. Police got a call that a home had exploded just minutes later. “I missed it by two minutes. I am very fortunate,” said Pike.
“Had he been inside the house I think we would have had a much different outcome. Serious injuries at a minimum,” said West Manchester Township Fire Chief Dave Nichols. “It was powerful. You can see what it did to the structure. It blew the one entire wall completely out. It blew the bricks and the front roof off into the front yard.”
“It sounded like a door slamming to us honestly,” said Nicole Bixler who works next to the home at Dover Area Animal Hospital. “It exploded. So we verified that everyone was out of the house. We realized that they were safe and secure. Our next step was then to make sure all of the animals, clients and people were out safe.”
Chief Nichols says more people could have been injured. “If you look at the debris, we’re lucky nobody was in the [animal hospital] parking lot at the time of the explosion. We’re lucky there were no passers-by. There was glass and debris that is embedded in the ground 50 feet, 100 feet away from the structure,” said Chief Nichols. “A lot of things happened today that prevented any injury. And a lot of that has to do with timing and luck.”
Charles Pike is thankful to be alive. He is devastated at the loss of the irreplaceable things he lost in the explosion and fire. “We had a big library full of books. Thousands of books. A German Bible from 1750 and they’re all gone I’m sure,” said Pike.
Pike’s daughter said her father is in good hands. “We’re just very pleased my dad is living,” said Nicola Pike. “This is devastating but it’s not a loss of a life, nobody got hurt. We’re just concerned about the loss of our stuff, but they’re only things. But my mother’s legacy is in there. Her antiques, that’s what is so devastating too.”