Investigation Into Contractor, Gas Connection In Home Blast - KMSP-TV

Investigation Into Contractor, Gas Connection In S. Philly Home Blast

Posted: Updated:
SOUTH PHILADELPHIA -

Investigators returned to the scene of Monday's natural gas explosion and building collapse on Daly Street in South Philadelphia. They are moving closer to the cause of the blast that rocked this whole neighborhood.

"The contractor actually went in and tried to light the hot water heater and left, and when he came back, was in the house, and then lit a cigarette in the house. And supposedly that's when the explosion happened," City Councilman Mark Squilla told Fox 29.

The councilman says that investigators have focused on the contractor. He is now hospitalized in critical condition with burns to nearly 25 percent of his body.

"Obviously, he was in the house at some location, I'm not really sure, but he was blown through the building and out onto the street area," the councilman added.

Detectives also returned to the scene Tuesday. Sources say they searched the contractor's truck overnight and found nothing suspicious. They hope to speak with him in the hospital in the next several days. He may have to be read his Miranda rights before speaking to police.

Investigators also inspected, photographed and removed the gas meter at the newly renovated home at 428 Daly St., where the explosion occurred.

"The real concern now is the contractor. Who was actually doing the work, whether the contractors were licensed to do that kind of work. Now the investigation will move on," Squilla explained.

"It's a disaster," one of the evacuees told Fox 29

Some of the evacuees from Daly Street returned to retrieve clothing while the investigation and cleanup work progressed. One side of the block has been allowed back in. The other side just got word that they can also return, after officials turned the power and gas back on.

"Just gathering up all my clothes and making sure my family and my animals are okay. Just being relocated for a little bit," said Charles Woody, who lives on the block.

Joe Piacentini collected up his kids, his wife and his family belongings and left Daly Street. He wants to put all this behind him.

"Go down the shore a couple days and get this out of our minds," he said.

High ranking sources say investigators are checking to see if the gas was hooked up correctly when it was turned on to the home. Also, who turned the gas on?

They also want to know what agencies inspected and signed off on the gas connections at the newly renovated home where the explosion happened.

Detectives could subpoena records from contractors, the homeowner, utility companies and the city during their investigation.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Teenage Boy Reported Missing In Camden

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:06 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:06:41 GMT
    Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.Officials say Michael Edwards was last seen when he left his home on the 700 block of Berkley Street. He is described as a black male 5’5, 120 points, with brown eyes and black hair.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
    Camden County Police are looking for a 15-year old teenage boy reported missing Saturday night.
  • Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Police Search For Person Of Interest In Collingdale Hit-And-Run

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:05:34 GMT
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
    A man was struck by a SUV in Collingdale early Saturday morning. Police responded to reports of a hit and run on the 900 block of Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. Upon arrival, they found a Range Rover crashed into a Chrysler 300 and a man was also laying the lawn of 919 Bedford Avenue covered in blood. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center. He is in surgery with severe head and severe lower b...
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices