South Philadelphia Community Devastated By Deadly Row Home Explosion That Killed Two ‘United As One’

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Friends, family and a community remembered 65-year-old Rudi Kambong, a victim of a deadly row home explosion in South Philly. That community is still reeling Saturday night after the Dec. 19th explosion that destroyed three rowhomes and seriously damaged two adjacents homes.

The explosion and fire happened on the 1400 block of South 8th Street. Workers have remained on the scene daily, removing debris.

Despite the neighborhood being torn apart, friends and family say this has brought them closer together.

“It’s powerful to see us come together united as one,” Jehuda Kusuma, with the Bethany Miracle Center, said.

The Bethany Miracle Center came together Saturday to remember Kambong. He was one of two people killed in the house explosion on Dec. 19.

“Obviously we’re saddened by the loss, but we’re also hopeful that this event and this moment can remind us of how important it is to cherish our loved ones,” Kusuma said.

Kambong was on bed rest on the second floor of his house and unable to get out. He suffered a stroke a year ago.

At the memorial service, Kambong was remembered as a man of faith.

“Even when he was sick and suffered a stroke that he was still able to have faith in Jesus and still keep a smile on his face every day,” Kusuma said.

The other person killed in the explosion is 28-year-old Brian Diu. His sister, Connie, recently spoke to CBS3.

Sister Of Man Who Died In South Philadelphia Explosion Recalls Being In Home As Fire Began

She was in the house with her brother when the explosion happened. She was on the first floor and was able to get out.

But her brother was on the second floor trapped. He was pulled from the rubble the day after.

“We’ll never be the same, but we’re trying to get through it and Brian wouldn’t want us to be like so devastated,” Connie Diu said.

Funeral services for Diu are set for Tuesday.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the explosion, but they say the fire was “gas fed.”