A fire damaged three homes in a south Philadelphia neighborhood on Jan. 30, injuring two employees of Philadelphia Gas Works. It is suspected that the fire was caused by a leaking gas line, which may have led to an explosion around 7:30 p.m. However, at the time of the report, there had been no final reports of the official cause.
According to authorities with the fire department, there were two workers for the gas company present in the basement of one of the buildings when the explosion occurred. They had been called to the site two hours before the incident in order to investigate reports of an unusual odor and a possible gas leak. The employees had been shutting off the gas to the affected homes when the incident occurred. Early reports indicate that the fire may have begun in a home that they could not access before it spread to the other two buildings.
Eight residents were displaced from their homes by the blaze. They were given emergency assistance by the Red Cross, which attempted to help them find places to stay while their homes were unusable. The two employees of the Philadelphia Gas Works received minor burns from the conflagration and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Since the two employees were doing field work for their employer when they suffered their injuries, they may seek workers’ compensation benefits in order to have their medical bills covered and part of their lost wages provided. If a workplace injury causes a permanent disability or if an injured worker is facing a long recovery period but the insurance provider attempts to cut the necessary benefits, injured workers in Pennsylvania might choose to seek legal aid.
Source: Lancaster Online, “Suspected gas explosion in Philly sparks fire”, January 31, 2014