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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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