Man Hospitalized After Home Explodes In Syosset

SYOSSET, NY (CBSNewYork) –A Nassau County man is lucky to be alive after his home blew up, with the force of the explosion literally rocking the neighborhood.

The 48-year-old homeowner, husband and father of three barely escaped death when his ranch house on Alexander Drive in Syosset suddenly exploded while he was doing spring cleaning in the basement, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: People Went Running

The siding, the roof and the windows were torn off of the house in Syosset when the home exploded around noon.

“It was a huge boom, like you could feel it in your chest. It was an explosion,” said another neighbor. “I almost thought it was in my house. That’s how loud it was.”

People are seen hugging after a house explosion at 6 Alexander Drive - Syosset, NY - May 5, 2011 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

People are seen hugging after a house explosion at 6 Alexander Drive - Syosset, NY - May 5, 2011 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

The homeowner, 51-year-old Brian Welsh, was reportedly in the basement fixing his washing machine and dryer when it happened.

Brian Welsh’s kids were at school and his wife, Helena, had been at work. She was frantically summoned to the scene, hugging friends with tears in her eyes, unable to believe what had happened.

“My brother-in-law was helivaced to the hospital with bad burns, but everyone else is okay,” Despina Tenedorio, Welsh’s sister-in-law, told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall.

“We don’t know how he arrived onto the front lawn, but he was sitting on the front lawn when we got here,” Syosset Fire Chief Robert Kaplan said. “He was immediately transported via helicopter to the medical center.”

A neighbor told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera that he talked with Welsh before he was rushed to the burn unit at Nassau County Medical Center.

“He said that he would have been working in the basement around his dryer and his washing machine,” he said.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera Speaks To The Victim’s Sister-In-Law

Other neighbors began running out of their homes when the explosion happened.

“My whole house shook. I’m around the corner and the entire house shook. I ran to the windows, ran to the back,” said one neighbor. “[I] thought maybe a tree fell on the house.”

“There was a big explosion, I heard him screaming for help,” neighbor Jennifer Rubin said. “’Help me, somebody please help me.’ I called 911 right away.”

As Keyspan immediately shut off the gas and electricity was cut from the block, crews with remote search cameras pored over the desperate situation.

“I just wanted to make sure my family was alright,” Tenedorio said. “I don’t know, I just got so scared. Thank God everyone’s okay.”

Tenedorio said she managed to save the family birds, a parakeet and an African gray, along with photos and some personal mementos. Everything else, though, was rubble.

Bricks and wood blew through concrete, tossing the refrigerator through the front door. The attic pancaked into the basement.

Neighbors said they were counting their blessings that no one else was hurt.

Investigators already started razing the house, as the search for the exact cause of the explosion continued into the night.

About 15 years ago, another house exploded about one block away. A neighbor said that house was leveled.

More from Sophia Hall
  • Brianna Welsh

    My dad is doing great. He looks as if nothing even happened. No, but they believe it was a gas explosion, so when my dad pressed start on the dryer or moved the dryer it could’ve ignited a spark. He’s okay though, thank you.

  • Brianna Welsh

    Are you KIDDING ME?! My farther is not a “make believe plumber.” He was not ENDANGERING HOUSES AND FOLKS AROUND HIM. And you know what, if he hadn’t survived I wouldn’t be able to live. You know what, you can go kiss my ass. Unlicensed make-believe plumber doing gas work?! He was putting towels into the dryer! You’re seriously mental in the head. How DARE YOU even comment on this.

    • Carl

      Unfortunately, people post on these things without even reading about what happened. How is your Dad doing, Brianna? Did the authorities ever find out (or admit) the cause?

  • Fartman


    Lick my skidmark.

  • DT

    @Nick – it doesn’t say he was doing gas work. It says he was working around his washer and dryer. And even if he were, it is still good news that he survived; especially to his wife and kids.

    • Brianna Welsh

      @DT thank you!

  • harryz

    that kid goes to my school

  • Sam

    Mr.Welsh happens to be my guidance counselor. He is a great man who has taught me so much in the past four years. Mr. Welsh helped me get into college and truly achieve my goals. He is a kind and compassionate person who genuinely cares for everyone around him. His smile could light up a room. Mr. Welsh you are in all of our prayers you truly don’t deserve this! I hope you recover soon.

  • Sympathy

    Brian is a really nice guy. I worked with him at HHH. I hope he recovers quickly and is able to get his life back in order. This is terrible and very scary. I just don’t understand how this stuff happens so often.

  • stormgirl101

    2 of the kids go to my school, im not close with them but i feel awful

  • Taylor

    This man is a guidance counselor at my high school. I’ve had very few interactions with him personally but he always seems like a nice smiling man whenever I see him. He’s in my thoughts

  • http://yahoo carlos gonzalez

    i feel so bad but what we all can do is pray .and i cant
    say i know how you feel but i never had an experience
    like that,ill pray for you and your family just by posting
    this coment my eyes are filled with tears i can imagine
    the pain & agony his going through god bless you all

  • Kim

    I was in a house across the street from this house. It was such a scary sound. I couldnt believe my eyes when I looked out the window.

  • Fartman

    These gas explosion are insane. How can you feel safe living in a house with gas heat when this nonsense happens? One quick fart and the whole neighborhood could go up in stinky smoke.

  • greta

    There must have been a gas leak. Switch to oil people, it’s less dangerous. Or better yet, if you can afford it, get solar panels.

  • Trish

    Too many home explotions lately..

  • Arty

    Does Dans sell coconuts ?

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