BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The investigation continues into the cause of last week’s gas explosion in northwest Baltimore.

The explosion site has since been cleared and fenced in. There’s a void now, but for those who were first on scene, the sounds and images will be lasting.

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“Next thing I hear, I hear, ‘Pow!’ I can’t even replicate the noise it made. I thought my house broke,” Yseem Hammett said.


It was what happened in the minutes after that Hammett wishes he could forget.

“I get up… I see glass,” Hammett said. “I got the house phone, I called 911… The line was busy.”

Hammett ran outside, down the alley, to the disaster.

“If you saw what I saw that day, it’s either you’re going to stand there or you’re gonna get in there and take action,” he said.

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Hammett and a handful of neighbors began clearing rocks and debris. He said that afternoon, “Some people got saved. Some people didn’t. That kind of kills my spirit, because you can’t save everybody.”

Hammett has been on crutches since February. He was the victim of an attempted armed robbery the day before Valentine’s Day.

Without pain medicine or crutches, however, he rushed to help.

“If I see someone in need, I’m going to help them. With crutches, or without crutches,” Hammett said.

One of the victims’ family members called Hammett and the others heroes.

“They’re angels, and we all have angels looking upon us. They were able to see a situation, and they leaped in,” Ray Daniels said.

Hammett insists he’s not a hero and said his values kicked in from what he learned from his time in scouts. The 22-year-old became an Eagle Scout during his time at Woodlawn High School just a few years ago.

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“I want it to be like remembering something positive instead of something negative,” Hammett said. “It’s just really unfortunate people lost their lives.”

Paul Gessler