McCalmont Township, PA – More details are emerging about how a washing machine exploded in Jefferson County Monday morning.
An Amish man and his 16-year-old daughter had to be flown to the hospital with severe burns yesterday around 9:30 a.m. It happened at a home along Buck Run Road in McCalmont Township, between Punxsutawney and Reynoldsville.
An unnamed 16-year-old girl was reportedly refilling a gas-powered engine that operated a washing machine in the basement of the home. She was using a 5-gallon gas can to refill the gas tank when the tank began to overflow. The hot muffler on the engine ignited the gas, starting the fire.
The father, 40-year-old Eli Wengerd, discovered the fire. He removed the girl from the basement and extinguished it. Both the girl and Wengerd suffered burns and were flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Although the father and daughter both suffered severe injuries, the fire damage to the building itself was minor and is estimated at $1,000. The Pennsylvania State Fire Marshal was called in to investigate, and the fire was ruled as accidental.