Almost one week after an apparent natural gas leak and explosion leveled three South Philadelphia row homes, sending nine people to the hospital, including three children; a teenage girl who was inside one of the homes at the time of the blast is speaking out about her ordeal.
In an exclusive interview, Shaquorie Fields, 15, says she was inside her bedroom on the phone when her house on Daly Street came crashing down Monday morning.
“When the house started shaking, it just threw me off my bed, just threw me around my room,” said Fields.
Fields says she still has back pains since the incident. She is haunted by the memory and no longer wants to live in a row home.
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“It still doesn't seem real…I can't wrap my head around it,” said Fields.
The explosion came from inside the basement of a home located at 428 Daly Street around 11 a.m. The home was being rehabbed and a contractor was working on a water heater, according to Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer. That man was critically injured, suffering severe burns to his shoulder and arms.
The teen says she grabbed her cell phone, called police, and then looked for a way out of the debris.
Shamp Fields, the teen’s brother, arrived to the scene shortly after the blast to find his home reduced to rubble. The 17-year-old says everything inside was destroyed, including irreplaceable items.
“My grandma's urn, all the pictures of the family, my posters, blankets had since a child,” said Fields.
The children's mother, Sekeya, says the family is looking for a new place to call home.
“We're all separated right now and want to live under one roof,” said Fields.
The certified nursing assistant had paid rent through the end of July. Now, she feels they've hit a roadblock with the landlord, a roadblock that's haunting her family.
“They've tried to set me up with three different homes, all row homes. I am not comfortable.
Shaquorie says if houses are touching and something happens to the next house, they don't want to live in a row home.
If you'd like to donate to the family you can contact PNC Bank for the Fields Family Fund.