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Bug Bomb Blamed For Queens Explosion That Leaves Man Injured

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens man was recovering Monday from a major scare, from a wall that collapsed on him following an explosion in the apartment next door.

As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, the FDNY blamed the use of a so-called bug bomb for the explosion.

“We heard a boom; we just thought something, like, fell, maybe next door or something,” said neighbor Sebastian. “It was very loud.”

The explosion shook the building at 39-20 Greenpoint Ave. in Sunnyside, Queens, and blew out the wall between apartments 1B and 1A. The gaping hole measured 10 by 12 feet.

The bricks and stucco that collapsed in a pile injured a man, although not seriously.

“The gentleman was sitting on his couch and the wall came from 1B into 1A, and it actually covered him; landed in his lap,” said FDNY Chief Ed Carney.

Carney blamed the blast on a bug bomb.

Apartment dwellers have used the foggers known as bug bombs for years to get rid of roaches and other pests But fire officials said the problem is occasionally people forget to follow the safety directions printed right on the back on the box.

Typical warnings remind users to turn off all flames, pilot lights and ignition sources. Carney said the ignition source in the Queens incident was the gas pilot light.

Utility service was cut to much of the building for more than an hour during the emergency response.

“Scary,” said neighbor Michelle Weggeland. “I always say – you live in an apartment; you don’t know what’s going on next door. That’s the whole thing.”

Building inspectors determined there was no dangerous structural damage, but posted vacate orders on both units until the wall that was blown out is rebuilt.

The injured man was treated at Elmhurst Hospital. Some of his injuries were caused by a television that fell on him with the collapsing wall.

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