‘Thought a truck hit our house’: Man recounts pulling elderly neighbor from Akron house after explosion


AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — A house explosion rocked the neighborhood in the 2300 block of Edwin Avenue in Akron Monday morning.

“My wife and I were having coffee when I heard it. At first, I thought a truck hit our house. I ran to the back door and saw an explosion at my neighbor’s,” said Brian Osburn, neighbor.

Osburn said flames were coming from beneath the home. His wife immediately called 911 and Osburn ran to his 81-year-old neighbor’s home that had started to collapse.

WJW photo

“I went to his back door and threw debris out of the way. I kept calling his name. He finally said, ‘I’m in here and I need help.’ I threw the debris out of the way and got him,” said Osburn.

Osburn said his elderly neighbor was standing in the kitchen when the home exploded.

“I thought for sure he passed away or something. It was a miracle. I put him on my shoulder and got him out of the house and then first responders were there,” said Osburn.

The homeowner was taken to an area hospital with burn injuries. Miraculously, no one else was hurt.

Brian Osburn, WJW photo

Dominion Energy Ohio arrived a short time later and shut off the gas to the home.

Neighbors say Osburn was a hero.

“Human instincts kicked in. The good Lord watching from above, I give him all the credit. If you see the debris and how he was in the kitchen, it’s a miracle,” said Osburn.

The Akron Fire Department is investigating the cause of the explosion.

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