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Councilman Squilla Reacts To Explosion, Collapse Of Row Homes

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After the row home explosion that blew houses into pieces Monday morning, investigators say that a gas leak is to blame.

Eight people were informed, including three children, and three homes on the 400 block of Daly Street were destroyed. Many others were forced out of their homes.

Investigators say a gas leak is to blame, but they're not sure what caused that gas leak.

Among the injured, investigators say, was a contractor who had been working on a water heater in the home that exploded.

The city has already put out bids to knock down what is left of the buildings that sustained the heaviest damage.

It has been confirmed that the contractor, who is still in critical condition, said he lit a cigarette just before the building blew up.

FOX29's Steve Keeley was live with Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla on "Good Day Philadelphia" Tuesday morning.

Squilla thanked the first responders, and said "we are still waiting for firemen to get back on the scene to try to determine the origin of the explosion."

"They need to clear away a little bit of rubble, at this point, to see what happened," Squilla said. "But, from what we're hearing, it was a gas explosion that was caused by a leak somewhere."

The explosion may have originated up in the living room area, not in the basement, where the water heater was located, Squilla said. He's hearing that the contractor had tried to light the water heater, left, came back, and that's when the explosion happened.

The councilman also mentioned that this was the second set of contractors hired to work on the home renovation.

He said that "the concern was there may have been another person with him," but "he said he was there by himself on that day."

The search for the initial cause of the leak continues.

FOX 29 News will update you with the latest information as it becomes available.

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