Five firefighters were investigating the cause of a fire at a home in northern New Jersey in the early hours of Saturday morning when it suddenly exploded, leaving five of them injured, according to the Pompton Lakes Volunteer Fire Department.
Two of the firefighters received burns and were treated at a local hospital, while three others sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
A police officer reported strong smoke coming from a single-family home around 2:15 a.m. Firefighters responded to try to find the source of the smoke.
“They were prepared to extinguish whatever they found,” the Pompton Lakes Volunteer Fire Department explained.
“Within a couple minutes of their entrance, and while using a thermal imaging camera to locate the problem, the home literally exploded, injuring some members manning the hose line at the back of the home and partially trapping others in the basement.”
The firefighters were able to escape the house after the explosion on their own. The lone resident was also evacuated.
Deena Sinning, a neighbor, told Fox 5 New York that she was lying in bed when she felt the explosion.
“All of a sudden, there was a huge bang and our whole entire house shook,” she told the local news outlet. “My husband and I jumped out bed, came downstairs, looked out the window and saw the entire house engulfed in flames.”
The cause of the initial fire and explosion was not immediately released.