Smoke Rises After Explosion, Partial Collapse of Northeast Philadelphia Home

An explosion tore part of a home off along Pearson Avenue in the Torresdale section of Northeast Philadelphia Thursday

What to Know

  • A gas blast tore off the outer wall of a Northeast Philadelphia home Thursday afternoon.
  • The blast left debris strewn onto the ground below the twin home along Pearson Street in the Torresdale neighborhood.
  • Police say no one was hurt.

A gas explosion tore off part of a Northeast Philadelphia home Thursday, leaving debris strewn on the ground below.

The incident around 12:45 p.m. took out a wall of a twin home that is split into apartments along Pearson Avenue at Gillespie Street, not far from Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia police said.

Neighbors said they saw a flash and heard an explosion. One neighbor even said they felt a little shake.

"I was in the house washing dishes and I just seen like a flash and jumped down on the floor," John Lepera, one of the neighbors, told NBC10. "The cats were going nuts."

SkyForce10 was the first on the scene. Smoke could be seen coming from the twin home as firefighters doused the exposed second floor.

Bricks and other debris could be seen on the ground and rooms in the home, including a bathroom and bedroom, could be seen from outside.

Firefighters appeared to enter the garage of the home to search for any victims once the smoke seemed to settle.

The incident was brought under control at 1:36 p.m.

No one was hurt, police said. Three different families live in the twin house. It was unclear if anyone was home at the time.

"It's pretty extensive," Philadelphia Assistant Fire Chief Richard Davison said. "You have the complete delta side of the wall blown out. And it is fortunate that we don't have any injuries to the dwelling that's on the right."

Gas service was turned off to the block, police said.

"Experience tells you that there's a potential that it could be a gas explosion," Davison said.

Avoid the area as firefighters and police are blocking streets as they further investigate.

Workers had been making renovations to part of the building for a few weeks prior to the explosion. The exact cause of the blast remains under investigation.

"I'm still in shock," Lepera said. "I've seen this house every day for the last ten years. And now it's in shambles."

Contact Us