Upper Moreland fireplace explosion injures Navy SEAL, friend

UPPER MORELAND TWP., Pa. - February 23, 2013

The patriotic balloons were still up Saturday evening, hours after the freak accident critically injured 31-year-old Navy SEAL Pasquale Troisi.

"I'm a very easy crier, very easy crier, I can really get emotionally," Troisi's grandfather Joe Desch said.

Desch's pride for his grandson is strong.

The 93-year-old man also served in the Navy decades ago.

Troisi had just returned to his hometown of Warminster from Afghanistan Thursday.

He was at a welcome home party Friday night on the 2700 block of Broadway Avenue in Upper Moreland Township when police say a chiminea - a freestanding front-loading fireplace - exploded setting the man on fire.

Investigators say someone had poured gasoline onto the fire to get the wet logs to burn.

"It was an explosion. It was very loud and it lasted a couple of seconds at least," neighbor Nanette Hooker said.

77-percent of Troisi's body was burned and 26-year-old Stephen Klenk was also injured putting out the flames on his friend's body.

Troisi was rushed to Temple University Hospital where family members say he'll be in a medically induced coma for three weeks and in the hospital for at least three months.

The 2001 Archbishop Wood High School grad went through years of military training and three tours of duty.

But as he fights this new battle, Troisi's grandfather says his greatest accomplishments are his fiancée and their two small children.

"It's just horrible and this kid was so happy to be home. He wasn't deployed anywhere. It wasn't Iraq or Afghanistan. He was home," Desch said.

Troisi's grandfather still has the welcome home sign up for his grandson.

The Navy SEAL's family is already looking forward to him coming back to Bucks County but they know his road to recovery will be long.

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