Fire officials had a press conference today, where they revealed that the likely cause of the explosions was a natural gas leak.
“The proximate cause was a leak of natural gas from piping in the street,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said to outlets on the scene during a news briefing.
ABC reports that there were no prior reports of the pipe leaking ahead of the fatal blast that took place on Dec. 19. The explosion claimed the lives of two residents and destroyed three row homes.
The row homes were located in 14000 block of South 8th street.
Water officials told outlets on the scene that there were no active work orders for the Philadelphia Water Department when the explosion occurred.
The community and crews tried to rescue the victims, but two were trapped in the rubble and did not make it out alive.
ABC reported that after the incident, area residents and businesses teamed up and offered free meals and raised money for those impacted.
The row homes are completely gone.
Francis Hoeber told outlets that, “Five families directly across from where we live were destroyed and those five families lost everything they ever had in their entire lives.”
On Thursday, Councilman Mark Squilla said it is important for the city to look at the aging infrastructure.
Thiel told outlets that the investigation into a “root cause” is still underway.