NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The charred remains and rubble are all that’s left of a Rockland County couple’s home after a powerful explosion triggered an enormous fire Monday night.

Bruce Pollack told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport on Tuesday that he was pulling up to his Valley Cottage house in his car when the vehicle started sputtering. He left the car running in the driveway — half in, half out the garage — and went inside to make a phone call.

Then the unthinkable.

“It was like a bomb blast,” Bruce Pollack said.

Authorities said the car exploded, igniting the house and burning it to the ground with devastating speed.

“I’ve seen lots of houses burn to the ground, but never before we get there,” said Chief Howard Gerber of the Valley Cottage Fire Department.

The blast blew the roof off the house on Quaspeck Boulevard. The fire chief said the explosion was likely caused by a gasoline leak from the car.

Incredibly, the Pollacks were able to make it out of the house safely. They say they’re lucky they weren’t killed.

“By the time I got into the middle of street to call 911, the whole house was engulfed within seconds,” Bruce’s wife, Rose Pollack, said.

“We’re holding up,” Bruce Pollack said. “The house is a catastrophe.”

Perhaps even more remarkable, Rose Pollack said it’s the second time something like this has happened to her.

“We had a fire when my daughter was 9 months old,” she said.

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