Gas leak suspected in house explosion

February 8, 2008 3:54:46 PM PST
A gas leak is suspected of causing Thursday's house explosion and fire in South Philadelphia, but investigators are still trying to pinpoint the source.

The rowhouse at 709 South 6th Street between Bainbridge and Fitzwater Streets collapsed following an explosion just before 4:00.

As crews cleaned up the rubble, neighbors remained in awe of the blast that sent brick, mortar and glass raining on this South Philadelphia neighborhood.

"The first thing I thought was war zone. The front of the building was across the street. Smoke was coming out the back. I didn't know what to think," said Mike Verker.

Melissa Antley didn't know what to think either when she walked up on her home yesterday. The choking smoke made it difficult to see. She initially thought her home was the pile of rubble.

"They said a house blew up and it was my neighbors, which I felt very devastated for them," said Antley.

Her home sustained water and other structural damage. She doesn't know how long she'll be out of her house, but she's thankful no on was hurt in the blast.

"You can get material things back but you can't get your life back," she said.