Large fire forces evacuations in Kensington

KENSINGTON (WPVI) -- Investigators are working to determine what sparked a large fire that forced evacuations in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

It happened at 5:00 a.m. Wednesday in the 300 block of East Tusculum Street.

"My floor was vibrating, and we looked out, and there was fire and the whole wall blown out," resident Anna Lugo told Action News. "We started knocking on the neighbors' houses and getting them all out."

Despite several reports from neighbors who said they heard an explosion, city inspectors said as of noon Wednesday they could not confirm that a blast actually took place.

Authorities say firefighters arrived to find fire coming from the 2nd and 3rd floors of a row house.

The flames quickly spread to neighboring homes, and firefighters evacuated a number of residents on the block.

The blaze appeared to be under control by 6:30 a.m. Firefighters remained on the scene dousing hot spots and removing some of the debris.

Neighbors remained outside comforting each other.

Remarkably, there were no injuries reported.

Neighbors said a man in his 30s lives alone in the home where the blast happened. Officials say he has been located and is unharmed.

Philadelphia Licenses and Inspections was called to the scene because of a partial collapse of the home where the blast happened.

The American Red Cross was also on the scene assisting a number of families.
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