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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Grit: January 30, 1977 – Some Normalcy Returning to Explosion Torn Area

Life is beginning to return to normal for some residents of the 1800 block of Sweeley Avenue, while for others it may never be the same again. A full-scale insurance survey of the damage caused by the natural gas explosion that took two lives in the neighborhood is scheduled to begin Monday. Insurance agents and

Life is beginning to return to normal for some residents of the 1800 block of Sweeley Avenue, while for others it may never be the same again.

A full-scale insurance survey of the damage caused by the natural gas explosion that took two lives in the neighborhood is scheduled to begin Monday.

Insurance agents and adjusters from around the state will set up headquarters Monday in a trailer that has served as Civil Defense disaster site headquarters since the morning after the blast.

Civil Defense officials, who have maintained a security watch around the neighborhood, said that many families on the lower end of Sweeley Avenue have moved back into their homes.

The blasts, which occurred within an hour of each other, destroyed the homes of Anthony J. Kohler, of 1839 Sweeley Avenue, and Mrs. Elsie M. Coder, 1841 Sweeley Avenue. Mr. Kohler and J. Raymond Lundy, of 2090 Lycoming Creek Road were killed when the Kohler home exploded about an hour after the Coder home exploded. Mrs. Coder was rescued from her burning home uninjured.

Twenty-three persons, including nineteen firemen fighting the Coder blaze, were injured when the Kohler home exploded.

Preliminary damages estimated run as high as $1.5 million dollars, according to Civil Defense officials. Damages could go higher they said. As many as five homes in the neighborhood have already been declared beyond repair by the owners because of severe structure damage.