Smoker stable after Somerton gas blast

A ci­gar­ette smoker was crit­ic­ally in­jured when his light­er ig­nited a gas ex­plo­sion in­side his Somer­ton home last Wed­nes­day.

The blast oc­curred at about 8:19 p.m. in a two-story brick twin on the 2000 block of Foster St., a Phil­adelphia Fire De­part­ment spokes­man said. The vic­tim, a 40-year-old man, lit a Bic-style light­er, which ig­nited nat­ur­al gas from an oven, ac­cord­ing to Ex­ec­ut­ive Chief Richard Dav­is­on.

Para­med­ics took the man to Aria Health-Tor­res­dale in crit­ic­al con­di­tion with burns. He was up­graded to stable con­di­tion, Dav­is­on said. The res­id­ence sus­tained “minor” dam­age, in­clud­ing broken win­dows. Fire­fight­ers ex­tin­guished flames in the kit­chen with­in sev­er­al minutes. No oth­er in­jur­ies were re­por­ted. •• 

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