NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –A massive explosion rocked a home overnight in Brooklyn, spreading flames to nearby houses.

As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, video captures the moment a house explosion sent a massive fireball onto Vermont Street in Cypress Hills.

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The force shattered windows, blasted off doors, and collapsed the first floor into the basement.

“The whole wall came down. The lady was screaming for help and her daughter. They were both hurt, they were under the rocks. So we had to go help them,” said neighbor Henry Riquelme.

More than 100 firefighters responded just past midnight. They not only had to battle the fast spreading flames that ignited several nearby homes, but also had to search for potential victims buried in the rubble.

“It was just one ‘boom!’ Everything jumped, shook. The light went pitch black for 5 seconds,” said Mychelle Gurllon.

The blast was so powerful, the structural integrity of the entire block is now in question.

Edwin Rodriguez and his family are among the 58 people evacuated right before the holidays. He had just finished putting up decorations in his now-condemned home.

“I grabbed my daughter, ran down the stairs and this is what it is, Christmas,” he said.

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Somehow, everyone survived, but six people had to be treated for minor injuries.

The fire marshal’s office hasn’t identified the cause, but neighbors are pointing fingers at the basement’s boiler system.

They claim they started smelling gas 12 hours before the blast and called their landlord who told them not to call 911.

“He says ‘Don’t worry, I’m taking care of it. I have someone working on it now.’ I called him again when I brought the kids home from school. He supposedly fixed it. He didn’t fix,” Rodriguez said.

CBS2 called the landlord to ask what measures he took to address the reports of a gas leak, but he hung up on our call.

If you ever suspect a gas leak in your home, go outside immediately then call 911 or your local gas utility company.


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Christina Fan