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1 Dead As House Explosion Rocks Port Washington, Long Island

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Flames and smoke were billowing into the sky in Nassau County Tuesday night, after a house exploded and one person was killed.

Chopper 2 was over the scene at 10 Prospect Ave. in Port Washington about an hour after witnesses said they heard a blast at the 2 1/2-story house around 8:30 p.m.

The fire started in a garage in the rear of the home, officials said.

Nassau County Fire Communications Supervisor Brian Tomeo confirmed to CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider that one person was killed in the blast.

Four firefighters also suffered minor injuries, officials told CBS 2.

Flames from the initial explosion spread to other homes, CBS 2 reported. One home was totally flattened and eight cars were burned.

A total of 150 firefighters from 17 fire departments from around Long Island were dispatched to the scene.

Nearby homes in the area were evacuated, and gas was shut down, officials said. An area comprising a 10-block radius was closed off.

Instagram video from witness Mike Dedona showed flames billowing from behind Louie’s Oyster Bar and Grille.

Another witness, Gerson Rivera, shot Instagram video of the roaring flames in the night sky.

Witness Chris Crowley lives one block from the explosion site.

“We heard the explosion. You could feel the heat from our house, and you could see the flames above the houses across the street from us,” he said.

The cause remained a complete mystery late Tuesday.

“Everyone said they thought a tree fell on their own home,” Crowley said. “We thought it was our house; something happened to our house.

Crowley said he heard screams after the explosion, and before the flames ignited the sky.

The fire was out late Tuesday, and crews were sifting through the rubble to piece the scene together. The Nassau County Arson and Bomb Squad was on the scene investigating late Tuesday, officials said.

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