South Philadelphia Fire

2nd Body Pulled From South Philly Home Destroyed by Fire

Officials said firefighters could see the legs of at least one person in the rubble on Thursday

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The body of a second victim was recovered Saturday from the rubble of a South Philadelphia fire that tore through a rowhome earlier in the week.

The victim has not been identified.

A body was previously recovered Thursday.

On Friday, officials revealed that an “undermined” street prevented them from digging out the bodies after the explosion and fire rocked multiple homes in South Philadelphia.

The disaster occurred three blocks from the iconic Pat's and Geno's steak shops about 11 a.m. Thursday morning.

At least two people are still missing and presumed dead following an explosion and row home fire, in South Philadelphia. The explosion happened before noon Thursday, and the fire commissioner revealed firefighters just barely escaped, as three homes collapsed. NBC10’s Matt DeLucia has been with investigators all day learning the newest details.

“The street has been undermined,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner and Emergency Management director Adam Thiel said, possibly because of the "hundreds of thousands" of gallons of water used to extinguish the flames. On Thursday, he said a sinkhole had begun to appear in the area.

The fear of further collapses stymied the recovery process, Thiel added, especially because two other homes were severely structurally damaged in the blaze. Those homes may have to be knocked down to allow crews to work, he said.

Steve Sosna/NBC10
Smoke could be seen for miles as it streamed east in the strong winds, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019.

The explosion happened shortly before noon Thursday. Firefighters raced to save nearby homes as flames tore through the structures.

The destruction was immediate and created smoke plumes that were visible from miles away. Thiel said the fire was "gas-fed."

Fire officials told NBC10 that they had received numerous calls reporting an explosion prior to the blaze, but an exact cause of the fire remains unknown.

Some 60 people were displaced from their homes following the blaze. Those people were asked to call 1-800-RED-CROSS for assistance.

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