Investigation Of Explosion And Collapse Heats Up - KMSP-TV

Investigation Of Explosion And Collapse Heats Up

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SOUTH PHILADELPHIA -

As residents on Daly Street tried to come to grips with the impact of Monday's explosion and collapse, they were glad to hear that the investigation into what set off that blast has moved into high gear.

"I want the investigators to get to the bottom of it, because we need to make sure this never happens again," Daly Street resident Diane Schaeffer told Fox 29.

At South Detectives today, contractors who worked at the home that exploded and inspectors from the Department of Licenses and Inspections came and went, speaking with investigators.

"We need to make sure that someone was actually doing their job properly, when they were coming out to inspect a house that was being worked on," Schaeffer, who is organizing a fundraiser for victims of the blast, said.

Fox 29 has obtained the L and I permits for the renovations at 428 Daly Street where the explosion occurred. Those documents show the final inspection and approvals at the home were completed Friday. The last inspection on the plumbing was completed last Thursday.

"Whose ever fault it is, I would like them to be held responsible," Schaeffer said.

Investigators are focusing on the gas connection to the home. The gas meter was removed Tuesday. Sources say authorities are trying to determine if gas from a broken pipe filled the home after a contractor tried to ignite the pilot light on the hot water heater an hour before the blast.

Police came to interview that contractor at Temple Hospital Wednesday afternoon, where he's now listed in fair condition with severe burns.

"By the grace of God, nobody was killed. Don't ask me how that happened, but by the grace of God nobody was killed."  

Interestingly, the final notations on the L and I inspections at the home that blew up were entered into the L and I computer system just 54 minutes before the explosion Monday morning.

L and I says it is not responsible to inspect appliances and the hot water heater to see if they are working or if gas is flowing to them.

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