Gas Explosion Ignites 3 Homes, Injures 3

By Kelly Bayliss
|  Friday, Jan 31, 2014  |  Updated 7:47 AM EDT
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Three homes went up in flames last night after a gas explosion in South Philly.

NBC10.com

Three homes went up in flames last night after a gas explosion in South Philly.

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A gas explosion ignited three homes leaving two gas company employees and one South Philadelphia resident injured Thursday night.

The explosion in the basement of a home on the 1800 block of South Bancroft Street happened just after 7 p.m., according to Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

SkyForce10 was over the scene where fire officials say two Philadelphia Gas Works employees were in the basement of the home when a gas-fueled explosion ignited a fire. The explosion, South Philly residents say, could be heard from eight blocks away.

"It sounded like, you know, a bomb went off," said resident Joe DeLulo.

The fire quickly spread to two other homes.

"I ran out of my house," said another resident.

PGW representative Melanie McCottry told NBC10 that they employees were sent to South Bancroft around 5:30 to investigate reports of a possible gas leak. Gas was shut off to all homes on the block except for the house where the explosion took place and the one next door.

McCottry said two employees suffered minor injuries and were taken to the the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for treatment. The extent of the third victim's injuries wasn't clear.

The Red Cross said it is assisting the displaced families, which included eight people. All but one person had a place to stay for the night, a spokesman said.

Officials continue to investigate what caused the explosion.

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