Officials Investigating Northeast Philadelphia Home Explosion

Alicia Roberts reports.

Video Transcript

RAKYM DYER: People were screaming. And I looked-- I mean, well, I'd seen the whole thing blow up though.

UKEE WASHINGTON: We have breaking news out of Northeast Philly, an explosion leaves a rowhome unrecognizable. Its contents piled on the front lawn. This is "Eyewitness News" at 6:00 and we are streaming live on CBS in Philly. Good evening, everyone. I'm Ukee Washington.

JESSICA KARTALIJA: And I'm Jessica Kartalija. We are learning at least one person was injured in that blast. Let's get straight to Alicia Roberts, who is live at the scene. Hi, Alicia.

ALICIA ROBERTS: Hi, Jessica. This scene still very active. That explosion happened after 1:00 this afternoon injuring two people, including a 61-year-old man who lived here. Take a look at what's left behind me. Now, it's still not clear what caused that explosion, but you can see the entire front of this rowhome blown off onto the adjacent front yard.

You can see it. It's really exposing both the first and second levels. One neighbor said it looked like a doll house where the front of a doll house would be exposed to get the dolls in and out.

Chopper 3 over the scene. Nearly 60 firefighters responding initially. Police had to block off the area to first contain the explosion, make sure the area was safe, and then take care of a fire that resulted. As we mentioned, a 61-year-old man lived inside and was heroically rescued after the explosion by a good Samaritan who realized he was trapped.

RAKYM DYER: I'd seen the whole thing blow up though. And I just heard him crying and screaming, so I went in to try to help him out. There was fire on the steps, so I had to put this fire out on the steps first. And I had to put him out. When I went on the stairs, he was on fire. So I put him out with the extinguisher. And I picked him up, put him on my shoulder, and I came downstairs.

ALICIA ROBERTS: Now, we are told that 61-year-old man was taken to the hospital for injuries, but he is going to be OK. The good Samaritan was treated for smoke inhalation.

Right now, Algard Street remains blocked off as both fire and police remain on scene along with PGW, really trying to investigate exactly what happened here and then certainly clean up the debris. They expect that closure to be in place for some period of time tonight. That's the very latest. Reporting in Northeast Philadelphia, Alicia Roberts, "CBS 3 Eyewitness News."

JESSICA KARTALIJA: All right, Alicia, thank you.