Two Homes in Paterson, New Jersey, Destroyed by Gas Explosion and Fire

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Two Homes in NJ, Destroyed by Gas Explosion and Fire
Two Homes in NJ, Destroyed by Gas Explosion and Fire

Two houses in Paterson, New Jersey, were flattened after one exploded and caught fire after a gas leak on the morning of October 4, 2016, according to the Paterson Fire Department.

Just after 9 a.m., authorities received a report of a gas odor in one of the homes, fire officials said. When police and firefighters arrived, they heard gas hissing from the ABC News (New York) reports.

Authorities evacuated neighboring buildings before the explosion occurred at 9:24 a.m. Police said all 38 residents have been accounted for, according to WABC.

No civilian injuries have been reported but ten firefighters were taken to the hospital for evaluation of possible ear damage and other minor injuries. Gas and electricity were shut off in the area as firefighters worked to put out a fire under the rubble, WABC reported.

The two buildings destroyed in the explosion were multifamily homes. Authorities said the believed the 11 people who lived in the houses were accounted for.

Video taken by WABC showed rubble and debris where the houses had stood.

Before the explosion, Paterson Fire Department personnel reported a heavy odor of gas at 16 Goshen Street, according to WABC. The television station said first responders believed the gas was coming from the basement of the home. The firefighters called Public Service Electric and Gas, the utility that serves the area. PSE&G said the fire department “evacuated residents of 16 Goshen and adjacent homes as a crew and service technician were responding.” The company shut off gas mains and electric service. PSE&G said it does not know the cause of the explosion but the company is working with local officials to “fully investigate.”

A woman who works are a nearby dental office told WABC that there was “a very gassy smell.” When she went outside, she saw “a whole bunch of people running.”

At a news conference that afternoon, Paterson Mayor Joey Torres said that 56 homes within a 215-feet radius of the blast would be inspected. Torres added that officials were glad there was no loss of life.