Collapsed home was being readied for renters

NORTH PHILADELPHIA - November 28, 2011

The collapse happened at 10:30 Monday morning at a two-story home on the 1100 block of West Ontario Street.

Firefighters worked to free one man trapped inside.

Action News viewer Phillip Morley captured video of the victim, Dionicio Sanchez, being taken away on a gurney.

We spoke with one of the two neighbors now being hailed as heroes for running in to help Sanchez moments after the building collapsed.

"I heard the man screaming and I just started moving the rubble and pulled him out. Another gentleman and I. Just to save him, that was the only thing going through my mind. I'd want somebody to do it for me if I were in that predicament," said Thomas Bailey.

Sanchez was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he remains in serious condition with a broken leg, along with back and head injuries.

Also on the scene this morning was Marta Carillo.

Marta and her family recently decided to rent this home from Sanchez. They intended to start moving in this morning.

"I was walking by to get everything started and I ran into this. You know, anything could happen. We could have all been in there today," said Marta.

Some witnesses reported hearing an explosion before the collapse. Action News has learned that a propane tank did explode, and it was the blast that injured Sanchez. It is still not clear whether the blast caused the house to collapse or the collapsing house caused the propane tank to explode.

Meantime, Marta Carillo says she believes it was divine intervention that the collapse occurred just hours before she planned on showing up at the home with her 5-year-old and 7-month-old children.

"I'm just very grateful that we're still here and that we didn't go in there," she said.

Demolition crews are preparing to remove the structure, as it poses a safety threat to the nearby roadway.

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