PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Crews are taking down a Point Breeze building that is in serious danger of collapsing even more. Sources say they don’t believe this was a large explosion, but a collapse.
Two people – 57-year-old Peter Ash and his 12-year-old son Jordan – were inside when the home on South 20th Street went down on Monday night.
“Just getting ready to cook dinner. Before I could get downstairs, there was an explosion,” said Ash.
Sources are calling what happened a collapse. Ash, who is now healing from second-degree burns, moved into the home two decades ago and everything he owned here is gone. As demolition crews dangerously stood on failing support beams, Ash has a hard time remembering exactly what happened. He did tell investigators he was on the second floor and fell to the first.
“I was in a lot of pain and I don’t know what happened,” said Ash.
Neighbor Vivian Black lives across the street and was with Ash minutes before the house collapsed.
“I thank God because if I had not walked away, I would have been dead now,” said Black.
Fire and police were on scene in seconds, not minutes, because a fire house and police precinct happen to be next door. Ash says firefighters rushed in and saved two lives.
“There was hundreds of people outside when the fire department pulled us out of the building and the people started cheering when they saw us come outside,” said Ash.
Now, Ash and his son are without a home but they’re safe. They’re under the care of the Red Cross as they figure out what’s next.
“That’s what it’s all about. As long as he’s safe, I’m OK. I’m not worried about any other things,” said Ash. “All the other things are temporary. All the things are materialistic. I’m not really concerned about that.”
Part of the reason crews are taking this building down so fast, there’s a concern the building could tumble onto the police precinct.
Authorities have yet to say what exactly led the house to collapse.
If you would like to help Peter Ash and his son Jordan, call The Red Cross House at 215-405-8800.