Yesterday's home explosion in South Philly leveled one house and collapsed the houses on either side of the explosion. The contractor working on the house said that he was attempting to light the pilot light on the water heater when the explosion occurred.
His efforts to get the pilot light going, however, did not set off the blast. Rather, the cigarette that he had at some point during the process led to the explosion.
Neighbors in the area had smelled gas since the night before. Though eight people were injured, no one was killed. The contractor was thrown through a wall during the explosion, but somehow survived.
The house undergoing work did have all the proper permits, but Councilman Mark Squilla says he still wants to take a look at the contractor's qualifications. After the collapse in May, the construction accident at Temple last month, and this most recent collapse, permitting procedures and regulations for contractors ought to experience some serious scrutiny.
· Councilman Squilla: Contractor's Lit Cigarette Led To South Phila. Rowhome Explosion [CBS Philly]