Residents surrounding the one hundred block of East Richards Street in Summit Hill were awakened around 1 a.m. today, as police and firefighters went door-to-door asking people to evacuate their homes after a man threatened to blow up his home with propane.
During the standoff, police officers, some carrying automatic weapons, converged in the one hundred blocks of East Fell, East Richards and East Lehigh streets.
Officials on scene stated that a man inside 38 East Richards St. threatened to blow up the home after he opened valves to propane tanks located just outside the property.
Responding to the standoff without sirens were police officers from Summit Hill, Lansford, Nesquehoning, Coaldale and Mahoning Township.
Carbon County Emergency Management Agency Director Mark Nalesnik confirmed that an individual was inside the residence "and said he was going to blow the place up."
Nalesnik said there were propane tanks at the outside of the house and the individual was opening the tanks.
Members of the Summit Hill Fire Department responded and closed the valves, said Nalesnik.
The EMA director said police officers managed to talk the individual into coming out of the dwelling, then took him into custody.
He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Nalesnik didn't know the identity of the individual and police officials could not be reached this morning.
During the incident, residents living in the one hundred blocks of East Richards Street, East Lehigh Street (south side) and East Fell Street (north side) were encouraged by officials to evacuate until the incident was cleared. Evacuees were asked to stay at the Summit Hill Fire Company, although most opted to wait in their vehicles for the duration.
Fire police volunteers were posted at all surrounding intersections, preventing vehicle or foot traffic from entering into the area.
The unidentified man was taken into custody without incident just before 2:30 and later transported to the hospital via Lehighton Ambulance.
After he surrendered to police, Summit Hill firefighters converged on the home to inspect it. Officials on scene said the home had a high concentration of propane gas. Firefighters removed the gas from the dwelling by placing fans at multiple entry and exit points to the home.
Families were allowed back in their homes shortly after.