KELAYRES, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Eyewitness News is learning more tonight about the investigation into an explosion that rocked a Schuylkill County neighborhood Tuesday and a Hazleton Police Officer is the focus of the investigation.
State troopers say Hazleton City Police Officer Ladell Hannon has been charged in connection with a burglary at that same home in Kelayres in Kline Township back in October.
Court documents indicate the victim of the burglary and the explosion is having a relationship with Hannon’s wife.
Neighbors say it is a morning they will not soon forget, If ever.
“It was like 5:20, my husband and I were just getting up to get my daughter ready for school and boom!! And the whole house shook,” said Kellee Corra, Kelayres.
Kellee Corra lives a block away from the Center Street home in Kelayres, where the blast occured early Tuesday morning.
Many people in this area say the aftermath of the explosion looked like a war zone.
An arrest has been made following a burglary that took place earlier this year that targeted the home in Kelayres where officials are investigating an explosion.
Late Tuesday, State Troopers arrested Hazleton Police Officer Ladell Hannon in connection with a burglary that took place at the same home in October.
The burglary happened on October 28 of this year, according to police. At the time of the burglary, police say, the victim did not want to cooperate and the investigation was closed.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim of the burglary and the explosion, Harrison Jordan, was uncooperative with the police during the burglary investigation.
Troopers contacted Harrison Tuesday, after the explosion. Jordan says Hannon was the person who burglarized his home in October.
According to court documents, Jordan says he is currently in a relationship with Hannon’s wife. Jordan told investigators that he had a heated argument with Hannon on Tuesday, December 11.
Police say they have reopened the case of the burglary while investigating the blast, which is being called attempted homicide by police.
The Hazleton Police Chief and the Mayor issued statements about Hannon’s arrest, saying that he has been a good officer and there have not been any complaints filed against him since he joined the force two years ago.
Officer Hannon was an upstanding member of our department and never had a complaint filed against him while we worked for the Hazleton Police Department. The HPD and the City of Hazleton was not aware of the October incident that occurred in Kline Township, until it was brought to our attention on December 21st by the Pennsylvania State Police.Hazleton Police Chief Brian Schoonmaker
Chief Schoonmaker also confirmed that as the police department learned of the investigation, Hannon is currently suspended without pay.
Repair crews were at the building Wednesday removing debris and boarding up the place. State Troopers are urging anyone with information about either crime to contact them.
“We would look for anybody that knows anything about the burglary that occurred on October 28 and the explosion yesterday at 3 Center Street. Both incidents happened there so if anybody knows anything about those incidents contact Frackville,” said Trooper David Beohm, State Police Spokesperson.
The mayor also said in a statement that Hannon’s actions are not a reflection of the hard work and excellence of the Hazleton Police Department.
Hannon was taken into custody without incident on Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with burglary, criminal trespassing and theft.
Hannon is currently being held at Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of $300,000 bail.
Also, Hannon has not been charged in connection with the explosion and Jordan suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blast.
Lead I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick will have more on this story at 6:00 p.m. on Eyewitness News