An armed man barricaded himself inside his Pennsylvania home on Thursday, moments before explosions rang out and ignited a raging fire that engulfed at least three buildings.
As of 4 p.m., police were still looking for the unidentified man who had clashed with cops and pulled a gun on a code enforcement officer.
Firefighters were still working to knock down the large fire while smoke was visible from miles away.
“As of right now we are trying to locate the individual who may or may not be inside the residence – but because it’s an active fire scene we do not know,” Mike Jackson, Lower Providence Police Chief told reporters in a briefing on Thursday afternoon.
“There’s a large police presence in the community,” he added.
“I want to assure the community that it’s safe, it’s safe for them to return to their homes and we are going to maintain the large presence.”
A code enforcement officer had visited the Eagleville home just before 1 p.m. for an inspection when the homeowner flashed a gun, Jackson said.
The code enforcement officer got out unscathed and contacted police, the chief added.
“Upon arrival they engaged the male in front of the residence and he retreated back inside,” Jackson said.
“A very short time later there were loud explosions – multiple loud explosions – and the residence caught on fire.”
The fire spread to neighboring properties as police evacuated the area. At least one person sustained minor injuries in the blaze, Jackson said.