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Couple Married for Over 60 Years Killed in Pennsylvania House Explosion: 'Best Kind of Parents'

Couple Married for Over 60 Years Killed in Pennsylvania House Explosion: 'Best Kind of Parents'

David Mitchell Jr., 89, and Helen Mitchell, 87, were killed in an explosion at their home in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, authorities said

<p>Tim Robbibaro/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP</p> Debris remains after a house explosion on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 in Crescent Township, Pa.

Tim Robbibaro/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

Debris remains after a house explosion on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 in Crescent Township, Pa.
  • David Mitchell Jr., 89, and Helen Mitchell, 87, were killed in an explosion at their home in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner confirmed to PEOPLE

  • The couple's son, James, said his parents were "wonderful people"

  • The cause of the explosion remains under investigation

A retired couple married for over six decades died in a powerful Pennsylvania house explosion on Tuesday.

Authorities said the Crescent Township Volunteer Fire Department and other fire departments responded just before 9 a.m. local time to the report of a house explosion on Riverview Road.

"First arriving Fire units reported a house completely on the ground with a large debris field, with reports of two occupants unaccounted for," officials said. "The explosion could be felt and heard for many miles away."

Crews eventually located two victims, later identified as 89-year-old David Mitchell Jr. and 87-year-old Helen Mitchell, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner told PEOPLE.

Related: Chocolate Factory Explosion Kills 7 in Pennsylvania: 'A Devastating Loss'

<p>Tim Robbibaro/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP</p> Debris remains after a house explosion on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 in Crescent Township, Pa.

Tim Robbibaro/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

Debris remains after a house explosion on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 in Crescent Township, Pa.

An investigation into the blast is ongoing.

Crescent Township Fire Department Chief said the explosion was "absolutely extreme," and that "you could feel it in your chest," according to the Associated Press.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that the devastation completely leveled the couple's home and left a smoldering crater in the foundation and basement. Debris surrounded the property and reached the Ohio River, which is roughly half a mile away.

Related: Moving Photo Shows 'Heroine' Beirut Nurse Holding 3 Newborns After Explosion: 'Glimmer of Hope'

The explosion even knocked out windows and damaged the door to Mary Zawoysky's home, per CBS affiliate KDKA.

"There were things flying through the air, all over the place," she told the station. "I looked outside and there was a giant flame, and I could not see the house through there, which made me think it was gone."

Propane tanks and a private gas well on the property were secured, according to the AP and the Akron Beacon Journal. It's unclear if they played a role in the explosion.

PEOPLE has reached out to the Crescent Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Crescent Township Police Department for comments.

Related: 'Beautiful' Kansas Family, Including 19-Month-Old Child, Killed in Commercial Building Explosion

The couple's son James told KDKA his parents, who were married for 64 years, were "wonderful people" and "the best kind of parents."

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In the township of about 2,500, many people knew the couple who were being honored for their involvement in the community, according to the outlet

Zawoysky told the outlet the community plans to "help in any way we can."

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