Philadelphia row house collapse injures 8

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WJLA) -- A South Philadelphia row house collapsed Monday because of a massive explosion.

“The impact was pretty loud," said one witness, Mike McGraw, Jr. "I was sitting in the house and I heard a big bang and the door slammed."

That big bang was a south Philadelphia row house collapsing due to a massive explosion that occurred at approximately 11 a.m. Monday morning. What followed were frantic moments to assess the extent of the explosion and save those who were still inside.

"They threw this baby out of the window because the girl was on fire and the fireman had to catch the baby," said McGraw.

Deputy Philadelphia Fire Chief Robert Coyne said: “There was a worker inside, he's in critical condition. Right now, we have burns on his shoulder and arms... We do have the fire marshal going over there. The house was not occupied, it was being rehabbed.”

The blast leveled one row house and did significant damage to two others. At least eight people were injured, including two small babies and a teenager.

Residents reported smelling gas following the explosion, and Philadelphia authorities evacuated dozens of nearby houses as a precaution.