Family, friends gather to remember man killed in South Philadelphia explosion

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Family, friends and members of the community all came together Saturday to remember the life and legacy of one of the two people killed in last week's South Philadelphia rowhome explosion.

Speaking through their youth pastor, the family of 65-year-old Rudi Kambong fought back tears as they expressed gratitude for the support of their neighbors.

"I want to thank the Indonesian community for supporting us, whether in prayer or donations," said one of the grieving family members.

Jehuda Kusuma, a youth pastor at the church, said Rudi was well known and respected at church.

"The church is really grateful for the entire South Philly community, not just the Indonesian community. Showing up and really just caring and helping one another in this season of giving," he said.

Community members who knew Kambong told Action News he had been in recovery after suffering a stroke some time ago.

He was reportedly in bed at the time of the fire and explosion.

Those that knew Rudi Kambong say he was a loving and caring man.

"A lot of people knew Mr. Rudi as a very generous man-- a man that has very strong faith," Kusuma said.

Those that attended the service were in awe over the more than $26,000 raised for the family.

"You don't usually see it and you question whether it exists out there, but it's beautiful to see and I'm really touched by it," said attendee Heinz Lehmann.

Cleanup at the site on the 1400 block of South 8th Street came to a halt last week when crews were finally able to pull the body from the rubble.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Clean up is also ongoing.

The family has hired an attorney to represent them as they wait for answers into what may have caused the explosion.
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