Reporting Mike Xirinachs
ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Fire officials are still working to determine what caused the house on 150 Lincoln Street in Elmont to be reduced to rubble following an explosion early Tuesday morning.
WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs: The House Is Gone
Authorities say the house exploded at around 1:30 a.m. Police said the house was empty at the time of the explosion. Earlier reports suggested at least seven people were in the home when it exploded, but they managed to escape with only minor injuries.
The owner of the destroyed home was in the hospital preparing for surgery when the explosion occurred. Next-door neighbor Rock Percy was home at the time and managed to get out of harm’s way.
“When something like that happens, obviously the only thing you have to do is to make sure everybody is safe,” he told CBS 2′s Jay Dow.
Two adjacent homes suffered minor fire damage and all of those evacuated as a precaution are back home.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Blast Rocks Elmont
“The house just shook, it’s scary. We’re like ‘somebody break in there, what was that?’ So it was just frightening, so I just wake up everybody, grab clothes and by the time I come, they say ‘you can’t go anywhere, stay by your house or move off the block,’” one neighbor told Dow.
Chris Molai, who lives directly behind the house that exploded, said he was in his bedroom when the blast shook the neighborhood.
“I saw everything in flames, the house falling, everything was piled up like firewood and it was just burning,” Molai told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera. “I honestly thought we got hit by a bomb.”
Further details of the incident remain sketchy and authorities are investigating the cause of the blast. Authorities have confirmed there were no reports of any gas leaks prior to the explosion.