Officials say that a vacant home in Hempstead was destroyed on Wednesday afternoon after a possible gas explosion. Nobody was believed to be killed during the explosion; however two people did suffer minor injuries after being hit by debris, including a nine-year-old and an adult.
The blast – which occurred in a suburban home on Perry Street at around 2:45 p.m. – also caused a fire in another nearby home, and caused one of the windows to go flying and shatter against another neighbor’s house. Some debris flew into the street as well.
The explosion leveled the house off of its foundation and left it in pieces. One nearby resident said she heard a loud boom that reminded her of an earthquake.
A spokeswoman from the National Grid said that there were no signs of a natural gas explosion at the scene, however they are still investigating the cause of the explosion. Some neighbors said that they did smell gas right before the loud explosion that rattled the area.
The house was vacant and in foreclosure during the time of the explosion, according to the Hempstead Fire Department.
Firefighters sifted through the rubble to search for bodies on Wednesday. They suspected the possibility that squatters were in the house at the time, however nothing was found. The fire marshal returned to the scene on Thursday to further investigate what happened, but there has still been no definite word on what caused the explosion.
“There are a few day cares on this block, and I’m just so glad that nobody was hurt,” said one resident in an interview with News 12.
Some neighbors suspect that it was a natural gas explosion, and are asking questions as to how the home filled with gas and what set it off.