Neighbors React After Row Home Explosion In South Philadelphia
By Syma Chowdhry, Oren Liebermann
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Eight people, including three children, were injured following a row home explosion and collapse in Philadelphia Monday morning.
“We heard the explosion and said ‘what the heck was that?'” said neighbor Abdul Bay.
“A boom boom boom, I thought we were under attack,” said neighbor Star Brown.
The incident happened at about 11 a.m. in the 400 block of Daly Street in South Philadelphia (see related story).
Chopper 3 HD was over the scene where one row home collapsed and two others partially collapsed following what witnesses are calling an explosion.
VIEW: Photos From The Scene
Residents living on Daly Street can’t believe what they saw and heard.
“There was a fire, explosion, and then an implosion,” said Bashirah Bay.
Bay and her neighbors were evacuated after the explosion.
“I go outside and there’s just bricks everywhere, everything outside of the street, a car was already covered under the bricks,” said Brown.
Brown and several others are taking shelter at the Taggart Elementary School on 5th and Porter Streets.
“We will be here for as long as necessary, basically taking in people who were evacuated from the scene and they are in a holding pattern in essence,” said Dave Schrader of The American Red Cross.
Neighbors are anxiously waiting to get back in their homes.
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“To see if anything in there is salvageable,” said Sekeya Fields.
Fields lives in 430 Daly Street which is next door to the home that exploded – which also knocked down her house.
At the time she was at work, but on the phone with her boyfriend who was home when the walls started coming down.
“He said the house is falling in on me and the phone went dead,” she said.
Her boyfriend escaped, but her 15-year-old daughter was in a bedroom upstairs when the room collapsed into the kitchen.
Crews rescued her through the debris.
She was taken to Jefferson University Hospital and is expected to be okay.
“She said ‘Mommy I’m okay,’ she said a few things hurt and stuff, but I’m okay,” said Brown.
Philadelphia Police say all residents on the northbound side of the street, with the exception of five homes, are being allowed back in to stay. However, residents on the south side of the street, where the collapse occurred, are only being allowed back to get their belongings.
“We’re not getting back in tonight. I have a newborn so it makes it even harder,” said displaced resident John Pettit.
“It’s very stressful. We were at 412,” said displaced resident Corey Stevens.
The Red Cross closed its reception center at the Taggert Elementary School at 9 p.m. Monday night.
In all, the Red Cross provided assistance to 14 people from six families, including food, clothing and shelter. Three families are staying at the Red Cross House.