Copper thief arrested for causing Wissinoming house explosion: Cops

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File photo. (Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro).

Philadelphia police have arrested an alleged copper thief who is accused of causing an explosion that leveled a Wissinoming home Saturday afternoon.

Members of the Philadelphia Fire Department responded around 12:20 p.m. to the 4700 block of Howell Street for a report of an explosion.

Officials with Philadelphia Gas Works, Water Department, Department of Licenses and Inspections and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were also called to the site.

There, authorities found a two-story residential residence completely flattened by an apparent blast.

An investigation allegedly revealed a scrap metal thief cut and removed copper piping from the home, causing a natural gas leak that sparked the explosion.

No injuries were reported, as officials said the affected property was listed for sale and had been vacant for about a year.

Police on Saturday arrested Michael Migliaccio, 35, of the 4800 block of Van Kirk Street, for allegedly stealing the copper and causing the combustion.

He will be charged with burglary, theft, trespassing, criminal mischief, conspiracy, reckless endangerment and risking or causing a catastrophe, investigators said.


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