2 Houses Flattened After Explosion in Paterson, New Jersey

Helicopter video appeared to show the houses reduced to rubble.

October 4, 2016, 12:30 PM

— -- Two houses in Patterson, New Jersey, were flattened after one exploded and caught fire after a gas leak this morning, according to the Paterson Fire Department.

Authorities received a report of a gas odor in one of the homes just after 9 a.m., fire officials said at a news conference today. On arrival, firefighters and police officers reported hearing gas hissing from the house.

Authorities evacuated neighboring homes and buildings before the explosion occurred at 9:24 a.m. All 38 residents have been accounted for, police said.

Ten firefighters were transported to the hospital as a preventative measure and for evaluation of possible ear damage and other minor injuries, according to authorities. No civilians have been reported injured.

Gas and electricity were shut off in the area and firefighters were still working to put out a fire under the rubble late this morning, officials said.

The two buildings were multifamily homes, authorities said. The 11 people who lived in the houses are believed to be accounted for, authorities added.

Video taken by ABC station WABC in New York showed the houses reduced to rubble and debris on the street as emergency personnel responded to the scene. Firefighters appeared to have the fire under control.

PHOTO: Firefighters responded to an apparent explosion and subsequent fire at a house in Paterson, New Jersey, Oct. 4, 2016.
Firefighters responded to an apparent explosion and subsequent fire at a house in Paterson, New Jersey, Oct. 4, 2016.

Before the blast, responding Paterson Fire Department personnel reported a heavy odor of gas at 16 Goshen Street, WABC reported. The station added that the first responders believed the gas was coming from the basement. The gas odor was so strong that they immediately called Public Service Electric and Gas, which serves the area.

The fire department "evacuated residents of 16 Goshen and adjacent homes as a PSE&G crew and service technician were responding," according to a statement from PSE&G.

The company added, "We have shut off the gas mains and electric service. At this time we do not know the cause of the explosion but will work with local officials to fully investigate."

Neighbors reported a boom, followed by flames and heavy smoke, WABC reported.

"There was a very gassy smell," Laura, who works at a nearby dental office, told WABC. "I walked out and saw a whole bunch of people running."

An investigation is ongoing, officials said.

Paterson Mayor Joey Torres said at a news conference early this afternoon that 56 residential homes within a 215-feet radius of the blast will be inspected.

Torres added that officials were glad there was no loss of life.

ABC News' Joshua Hoyos and Devin Villacis contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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