Gas explosion destroys Paterson, N.J., homes

PATERSON , N.J., Oct. 4 (UPI) — Two homes in Paterson, N.J., were destroyed Tuesday morning by an explosion likely caused by a gas leak, officials said.

Firefighters evacuated the houses on Goshen Street in Paterson at 9 a.m. after area homeowners alerted them to the odor of gas, and 25 minutes later an explosion demolished the two adjacent, multi-story houses. A fire followed the blast. A third house was seriously damaged, and 15 other houses sustained varying degrees of damage. Debris, including shingles and wood, flew onto nearby rooftops and into the street, and cars and sidewalks dozens of feet from the blast were covered in rubble. A resident of a home five blocks away said his own house shook, CBS News reported.

“They could hear the gas hissing out. We knew by the hissing we could hear that obviously there was a high level of gas leak,” said Paterson Fire Chief Michael Postorino. He added five firefighters reported minor injuries after fighting the fire, but all 11 residents of the two destroyed houses escaped safely.

Paterson City Councilman Andre Sayegh praised firefighters, and residents for quickly contacting the fire department, saying, “Some people lost homes but they didn’t lose lives, and that’s all that matters now.”

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