House Destroyed In Massive Explosion

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey family was homeless Monday following a devastating mistake that caused an explosion in their Old Bridge home.

South Old Bridge firefighters spent nearly an hour fighting a fire at the home, which was partially destroyed following the accidental explosion.

“Well [the work crew] were working on the sewer line and they hit the gas lines,” homeowner Brian Donahue told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco.

What began as a routine home repair left Donahue and his family homeless on Monday. The family had lived in the two-story home for 30 years.

Neighbors said they heard the blast just before the flames began.

“You don’t know what it is, the blinds were down and I just heard a loud noise and I got two kids in the house and you always think the worst,” neighbor Rich Spencer said.

Neighbor Gary Hagopian said he was nearby at the time of the explosion and ran over to help.

“When I was speaking with the two workers they told me they were jack hammering the bathroom floor and they hit a main gas line, and there was gas leaking throughout the whole house,” he said. “They called 911 and they got the owner of the house and they just went outside and within 30 to 40 seconds the whole thing just blew up.”

The contractors and Donahue’s mother-in-law escaped uninjured. The family’s cat did not make it out.

The family was in shock, but grateful that nobody was seriously injured.

“We’re okay, just dealing with insurance companies, trying to find a place to live, go buy some clothes,” Donahue said.

Fire officials said that the house is beyond repair and will be torn down. A.J. Perri Inc, the company that was working on the home, told CBS 2 that it is trying to determine how the workers hit the gas line.

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