December 22, 2019
Two bodies have been recovered following the multi-alarm fire that destroyed several row homes in South Philly on Thursday, authorities said.
Authorities recovered the first victim's remains on late Friday afternoon, a day after the fire engulfed the 1400 block of South Eighth Street. The second victim's remains were uncovered on Saturday afternoon, Associated Press reports. Their names have not been released.
Rescue efforts were halted due to the the structural integrity of the buildings and a sinkhole that is believed to be forming in the street, CNN reported.
Authorities referred to the fire as “gas fed” but did not relay what caused it. Officials said they received multiple calls about the smell of gas from the scene, the Inquirer reported.
Over 60 people were evacuated from the area following the explosion. The fire destroyed three row homes and significantly damaged two other homes. Commissioner Adam Thiel referred to the area as "dangerous and unstable" to reporters.
The explosion happened just two blocks from East Passyunk Avenue, the neighborhood’s bustling commercial corridor.