Explosion in Paterson, New Jersey Destroys Two Homes

A gas leak in Paterson, New Jersey caused an explosion and subsequent fire, flattening two houses. At a news conference on Tuesday, officials said that authorities were informed of a gas odor coming from one of the homes shortly before 9 a.m. When firefighters and police officers arrived on scene, they reportedly heard a hissing sound from the house.

ABC News reports that residents in adjacent homes and buildings were evacuated before the house exploded at 9:24 a.m. Police say all 38 residents are accounted for. Authorities say there have been no injuries among civilians. As a precaution, ten firefighters were taken to the hospital to evaluate potential ear injuries.

Both houses were multifamily homes containing a total of 11 residents, all of whom have been accounted for, authorities say. The electricity and gas to the area were shut down.

According to WABC, Paterson Fire Department personnel who responded to the scene detected a strong gas smell at 16 Goshen Street prior to the explosion. They speculated that the gas was coming from the basement, and the odor was so strong that they immediately contacted Public Service Electric and Gas.

PSE&G say the fire department “evacuated residents of 16 Goshen and adjacent homes as a PSE&G crew and service technician were responding,” according to ABC News. The company also stated “We have shut off the gas mains and electric service. At this time we do not know the cause of the explosion but will work with local officials to fully investigate.”

According to WABC, nearby neighbors heard a boom and then saw flames and heavy smoke when the explosion happened. “There was a very gassy smell,” said one woman who works nearby. “I walked out and saw a whole bunch of people running.”

Officials are still investigating the explosion. At a news conference, Paterson Mayor Joey Torres said that 56 residential homes within a 215-feet radius will be examined.

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