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Long Island Home Rocked By Several Explosions; No One Injured

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Investigators are looking into whether a gas leak caused several large explosions at a house on Long Island on Tuesday morning.

When firefighters arrived just before 10 a.m. at Essex Circle and Merrick Road in Shirley, flames had already spread to the entire home.

No one was in the house at the time of the blasts, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported. No injuries have been reported among first responders.

Video from Chopper 2 shows extensive damage to the back of the house, with walls gone and paint charred black from the flames.

A half-dozen fire companies helped put out the flames, and fire marshals probed a possible propane gas tank leak as the cause. Firefighters worked with some structural issues as they reined in the fire, trying to push over a chimney before it collapsed on its own.

“I pulled up to heavy smoke, and the whole back of the house was up in flames,” Brookhaven fire Chief Tom Connors said.

Despite losing everything, the homeowners say their greatest loss was that of a beloved pet. Next-door neighbor Benny Morales tried to rescue the trapped dog but was stopped by arriving first responders.

“I tried to go in, but they wouldn’t let me go in,” he said. “It broke my heart because he was such a good dog.”

The brother of one of the homeowners said the family is finding solace in that their second dog, Jake, was pulled from the burning house without a scratch.
“It’s amazing,” Casty Rodriguez said. “He was at the front door, and some innocent bystanders watching got him out.”
The homeowners, Anne Marie Rodriguez and her husband, were too shaken to speak with CBS2 on camera, but said they have insurance on the home.
And neighbors like Morales are opening their homes to offer the family shelter until their home is rebuilt.
“I just pray down the road they build them a mansion because they are the most wonderful people,” Morales said.
Fire investigators say it may be several days before they can pinpoint the exact cause, adding it is possible the blasts could have been triggered by something other than the propane tank.




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