Philadelphia Explosion, House Collapse: Gas Leak Blast Destroys 3 Homes, Injures 8 [REPORT, VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on July 29, 2013 9:19 PM EDT

Philadelphia explosion
A Philadelphia explosion caused a house collapse that injured 8. A natural gas leak was reported. A contractor was working on the home when the blast occurred. (Photo: YouTube/melvin3r512)

A Philadelphia explosion occurred on Monday, blasting three homes and injuring eight residents. According to a statement from city officials, the house collapse in Philadelphia was caused by a natural gas leak.

Local residents smelled gas after the blast occurred. Witness Mike McGraw described the terrifying incident:

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"I was sitting in the house and I heard a big bang," Mike McGraw told CNN affiliate KYW. "The door slammed and the TV went out."

Firemen raced to the scene of the house collapse to rescue residents trapped inside.

"They threw this baby out the window because the girl was on fire and the fireman had to catch the baby" said son Mike McGraw Jr.

Joe Szymborski, another witness, was lying in bed when he heard the explosion.

"I threw on my shoes, ran down there and helped three people out of the house," said Szymborski. "It's just instinct. Anybody would do it for anybody else around here. We're all neighbors and friends."

A Jefferson University Hospital spokesperson confirmed that seven people were being treated for minor injuries, including a mother, a father and a two-month-old baby who were inside the home next to the house that collapsed. One man is in critical condition for severe burns.

Authorities continue to conduct investigations to find the cause of the gas leak. According to city officials, the home involved in the Philadelphia explosion was a permitted construction site. Gas service ont he street was shut off. A contractor was doing rehab work in the vacant home when the house collapse occurred.

Dozens of homes in the vacinity were evacuated Monday afternoon. While authorities assure the residents are accounted for, the fire department has left listening devices amid the rubble of the Philadelphia explosion and house collapse to double check for survivors.

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