PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A homeless man survived after the vacant row home he was in collapsed and trapped him beneath the rubble.
It happened around 2:45 a.m. Saturday in the 6100 block of Yocum Street in Southwest Philadelphia.
When crews arrived they heard a man yelling from beneath a pile of rubble. Fire officials told CBS 3 Eyewitness News that crews had to work cautiously to get him out.
“Our members don’t want to cause any more damage over the possibility of a future collapse,” said Lieutenant Bernard Gillian. “So they had to safely kind of cherry-pick their way through the wreckage to be able to find this individual.”
The victim was freed after about an hour. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Crews spent the morning clearing the debris. The damage was extensive, and officials said it’s remarkable the man survived.
Officials said the vacant row home that collapsed was one of three that were to be demolished.
Licenses and Inspections Commissioner David Perri told Eyewitness News that the department issued a violation for the property in January and told the owner it was eminently dangerous.
Perri said the owner, S&C Management, got a court order to stop demolition and had until April 5 to repair it. In that time, the home collapsed.
It’s not yet clear what caused the collapse, but officials said the heavy rain and wind from Friday may have been a factor.