2 homes leveled in apparent gas explosion in New Jersey

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Apparent house explosion in Paterson, NJ
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NewsCopter 7 over the scene of an apparent house explosion in Paterson

PATERSON, New Jersey -- Firefighters, gas officials and investigators are on the scene of an apparent house explosion in New Jersey Tuesday.

The incident happened on Goshen Street in Paterson around 9:25 a.m., and two homes were leveled while others were damaged and on fire.

Neighbors and nearby employees reported a loud boom, followed by flames and heavy smoke.

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

Passaic County authorities confirmed that a gas leak was first reported at the address, and the fire department was on site for at least 20 minutes before the explosion.

The Paterson Fire Department had responded to a heavy odor of gas in the two-family home, and responders believed the leak was emanating from the basement. They could smell and hear it, and the odor was reportedly so strong that they did not go inside and immediately called for PSE&G.

Debris littered the street, and responders were combing through the smoldering rubble to search for any potential victims, even though it is believed all residents were evacuated prior to the explosion. No firefighters were injured.

Stay with abc7ny for the latest developments.