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Man dies days after Penn Township explosion

The man injured during a Penn Township building explosion died late last week, according to a fire official.

Fire crews were called to this fire on Baltimore Street in Penn Township Saturday, March 17, 2018.

Hanover Area Fire and Rescue Chief Tony Clousher said Monday, March 26, that Michael Menges, 49, succumbed to his injuries at a Baltimore hospital Thursday, March 22.

Menges suffered burns to his upper torso, face and head area after an explosion at his apartment building in the 600 block of Baltimore Street on March 17, Clousher said.

Firefighters were called to the scene of this blaze on Baltimore Street in Penn Township on Saturday, March 17, 2018. Lindsay Vansadalan photo

Death: Menges was the only one injured in the fire, according to the chief. Menges had been airlifted to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore the day of the explosion.

Clousher said with Menges' death, officials may not find out what led to the explosion, which caused about $200,000 in damage and displaced multiple residents. 

On March 21, the chief said officials were waiting to talk to the victim to find out what he was doing at the time of the fire.

A cat also perished in the fire, according to Clousher.

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Background: On Wednesday, Clousher said the remains of the building were razed because it was unsafe.

The chief said some neighbors believed the explosion was caused by natural gas. But, after investigation, he said there were no indications that was the cause.

“There’s been nothing substantiated to support anything other than we had an explosion and a big fire,” he said.

Clousher said typically in explosions caused by natural gas, the blast will be so strong that it will put the fire out. That was not the case in Saturday's explosion.

A fire was reported on Baltimore Street in Penn Township on March 17, 2018.

He recalled seeing video taken immediately after the explosion, and "there is a huge volume of fire immediately after the explosion."

The chief said neighbors reported Menges had been refinishing a floor in his home.

“He may have had some strippers and thinners and things like that that certainly would've caused a rapid progression of the fire,” he said.

A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.