Photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images
A New Jersey home where smoke had been reported exploded with volunteer firefighters inside, injuring five of them and sending two to a hospital for treatment of burns, authorities said.
The Pompton Lakes Volunteer Fire Department in Passaic County said crews were dispatched after a police sergeant reported smelling smoke coming from the home.
The authorities said that Department members entered the home to try to find the source of the smoke and were using a thermal imaging camera when “the home literally blew up, injuring some members who were manning the hose at the back of the house and partially trapping others in the basement.”
Everyone was able to get out by their own means. Two were sent to St. Barnabus Hospital where they were treated for burns and released, authorities said. Three others were treated for minor injuries at the scene. Police also evacuated the only resident who told authorities he didn’t know how the fire started.
“I thought we were going to have six fatalities, I really did,” Pompton Lakes Fire Chief Jason Ekkers said. “They managed to get out of the basement with compromised stairs. They all helped each other, they came out one at a time and we were at the back door, just feeding them.”
Authorities said the explosion caused part of the house to collapse and a significant fire broke out. Fire crews from various departments brought the flames under control hours later.
Pentagon receives more than 350 new reports of UFO sightings
Virginia school district announces metal detectors in schools after 6-year-old boy shot teacher
Biden approves disaster declaration for Alabama after tornadoes and several deaths