But he never expected what happened next.
The five-thousand pound mat covering the dynamite should have stayed in place during the blast, but instead it was blown skyward, knocking down powerlines and phone lines.
It also showered Pilla's Shuttle Meadow Road house with rocks and other debris. "This blast was different than what's been going on the last couple of weeks. This thing just shot debris everywhere a lot farther than it had in prior blasts," Pilla said.
He was still without power Thursday evening.
A city inspector will look into what went wrong.