Off-duty police officer saves man after explosion levels New Jersey home
An explosion leveled a home Monday in northern New Jersey, injuring the lone person inside who was pulled from the burning rubble by an off-duty police officer.
The blast, which was caused what authorities said was a gas leak, felt like a “sonic boom,” CBS New York reports. Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez said the man was in the garage when the incident took place and suffered lacerations. The man is in stable condition at Hackensack University hospital, 7abc.com said.
BREAKING: House explosion in Ridgefield, NJ. House is leveled. Knocked 1 neighbor off his feet as he was watering garden. Another says he was lifted off his bed. Neighbors say sounded like plane crashed. Off-duty cop who lives nearby pulled resident from the rubble. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/ua0qDBuLZ3
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) June 17, 2019
Neighbors said the blast “sounded like a plane crash” and rattled their homes while spreading debris across a wide area. The debris damaged some nearby homes, and rattled residents were evacuated as a precaution while crews fought the blaze.
“The roof was falling down and the sides were falling down on the car…debris was still flying in the air,” said Barbara McGuire, who lives two houses down from the blast.
“I was just in my room and at my computer and I heard a loud boom,” said Christian Torres, who lives across the street from the home where the explosion occurred. He told The Record that his family’s home “started shaking (and) my mom started calling my name, freaking out.”
HOME BLAST: Aerial footage shows first responders battling a fire after a home explosion in Ridgefield, New Jersey, with the residence destroyed and gas company officials on the scene; at least one person was hurt. https://t.co/hk2qed0wwo pic.twitter.com/2jAIT3nwfn
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) June 17, 2019
Authorities say the off-duty officer, who lives nearby, was walking in the area when he heard and saw the house explode. He reported the blast and then dug through some debris to free the trapped resident with the help of other responders. The officer was not injured. His name has not been released.