Tragedy struck the West Virginia town of Follansbee on Friday when an unfortunate natural gas explosion obliterated a house, killing a young girl. The property located at 2481 Eldersville Road, was the site of the explosion, which is still presently being investigated to determine the circumstances that led to the tragedy.
Hannah Mozingo is the beautiful thirteen-year-old girl who perished in the fire. An ambulance took Hannah's mother and sister to Trinity West for treatment who were both present during the explosion.
Residents of the area were vocal in speaking about the explosion, and explained the noise as sounding like some form of natural disaster.
Ronald Bottorf said, "We'd just stepped out of bed and I thought it was a thunderstorm or something."
A neighbor who lives just two doors down from the property, Barbara Bottorf, likened the explosion to a war zone.
“I thought it was World War II. I thought our house fell in,” Barbara Bottorf said.
Though the explosion destroyed the house, other neighbors noticed damage to their homes as well.
"I live in the valley below, and I have a stone house, and it blew five of the stones in," Sharon Stewart shared with NBC station WPXI of Pittsburgh.
Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson spoke about the wide-spread destruction from the explosion. "I've been to a number of these natural gas explosions. This is as bad as anything I've ever seen. I don't have words to describe it," he said.
Sheriff Jackson went on to say, “There’s nothing left of the house.”
Mountaineer Gas Co. released a statement shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday to settle some of the concerns expressed by residents. The statement read as follows:
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the affected families in Follansbee, WV. Regarding the home explosion in Follansbee this morning, it’s still too early to determine the cause. We have surveyed the area, and there do not appear to be any safety concerns at this time. While all the facts are being determined, we want to assure the public we are on the scene with the Fire Marshal and local emergency officials. We will continue to work in conjunction with the Fire Marshal as he makes his determinations and recommendations. As the situation unfolds and we have more information, we will provide additional updates,” the statement read.
Mozingo family friend, Chris Grishkevich, has spoken out in support of the family who is suffering through the devastating loss.
"It's something you see on a movie. It's just crazy how gas can build up and, just destroy a house. Destroy a family," Chris Grishkevich said.
Chris Grishkevich is collecting donations for the family. Anyone wanting to help can send donations to the following:
2411 Eldersville Road
Follansbee, WV 26037