Firefighters recall deadly house explosion in Lancaster Co.

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MANOR TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Firefighters are used to putting their lives on the line every day, but this call was different.

Duane Hagelgans, the Blue Rock Fire Rescue commissioner, said, "At that moment in time you know you're kind of working on adrenaline and your training. And then afterwards you realize the severity of what happened, and you know they take it very personally."

Emergency crews were assisting UGI employees when they were called to a gas leak on the 200-block of Springdale Lane in Manor Township, Lancaster County. And they were only about 125 feet away when the house exploded.

Hagelgans said, "Several of our crew members ran into the area where the explosion had occurred knowing that there were several UGI workers in the blast area. And they began digging through the rubble to get them out."

One UGI employee, 54-year-old Richard Bouder, was killed in the blast, and three other people were injured.

Hagelgans said it's something those firefighters will remember for a long time.

He said, "It can be very traumatic to our personnel, especially you know we have a lot of younger members you know that may have not seen things like this in the past."

Even though it's been two weeks since the deadly explosion, the fire commissioner said the healing process is still ongoing.

"We have had some counseling to help some of our personnel deal with what they saw and with the effects of what happened," Hagelgans said.

And he said it's not only the first responders that need time to recuperate.

"There's a recovery phase also for the firefighters, just like there are for the employees, and just like there are for the neighbors of that neighborhood," he said.

Hagelgans said the NTSB should be back on the scene within the next week to continue its investigation into what caused the deadly gas explosion.

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