Five hospitalized after home explodes in New Jersey suburbs

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Authorities are searching Saturday for the cause of an explosion that leveled a house in suburban New Jersey, injuring five people.

Police and firefighters in West Milford, N.J., located about 45 miles northwest of New York City, responded around 9:15 p.m. Friday to the scene near Upper Greenwood Lake, where they found the one-story, ranch-style dwelling destroyed.


Five people were flown by air ambulance to nearby hospitals, according to Chief Shannon Sommerville of the West Milford Police Department. One other victim refused treatment at the scene.

Response teams from multiple jurisdictions helped pull the five victims out of the rubble Sommerville said, adding that state and local fire marshals have launched an investigation.

Officials have not disclosed the extent of the victims' injuries.

West Milford Deputy Fire Chief Rich Poplaski told the Bergen Record the home collapsed "from an unknown cause."

Neighbors who felt the impact said the boom shook the ground where they stood.

Real estate records show the house had been in foreclosure and was sold just last month, the newspaper reported.


Authorities said they believe the lien holders may have been renovating it. Records indicate the property was connected to a natural gas line.

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