Fifteen houses in a four-block radius suffered damage after a house blew up in Paterson, NJ, Tuesday.
The incident occurred on Goshen Street in Paterson around 9:25 a.m., and two homes ended up leveled while others suffered damage and caught fire. Fire officials said 15 houses in a four-block radius suffered some sort of damage.
Neighbors and nearby employees reported a loud boom, followed by flames and heavy smoke.
Passaic County authorities confirmed that a gas leak was first reported at the address, and the fire department was on site for at least 20 minutes before the explosion.
The Paterson Fire Department had responded to a heavy odor of gas in the two-family home, and responders believed the leak was emanating from the basement. They could smell it and hear it hissing, and the odor was reportedly so strong they did not go inside and immediately called for PSE&G.
Debris littered the street, and responders were combing through the smoldering rubble to search for any potential victims, even though they believe all residents evacuated prior to the explosion. There were no serious injuries in the incident, but five firefighters were undergoing evaluations.
PSE&G released the following statement:
“PSE&G received a call from the Paterson fire department at approximately 9:15 a.m. informing us about a strong order of gas inside 16 Goshen Street in Paterson. The fire department evacuated residents of 16 Goshen and adjacent homes, as a PSE&G crew and service technician were responding. 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.”