A gas explosion sparked a fire in a South Philadelphia rowhouse Thursday night that displaced more than a dozen people, authorities said.
Philadelphia Gas Works crews were at the scene on the 1800 block of South Bancroft Street, working alongside firefighters and emergency medical technicians as neighbors watched from their windows.
The first fire call came in at 7:04 p.m., Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. A minute later, neighbors reported an explosion.
Responding firefighters saw light smoke coming from the top floor of a two-story house. Minutes later, firefighters reported heavy fire on the first floor.
At 7:19, the blaze was confirmed as a gas fire in the basement. Firefighters worked to prevent it from spreading as they waited for the gas to be shut off, Ayers said.