NEW YORK (AP) — A firefighter who responded to a report of a gas leak at a home was killed Tuesday morning when the residence exploded shortly after authorities discovered a possible drug lab there, officials said.
The Fire Department of New York confirmed the firefighter’s death shortly after the explosion at around 7:30 a.m. in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx.
The mayor’s office tweeted that the mayor and fire commissioner went to a nearby hospital shortly after the explosion.
Firefighters had gone to a two-story house to investigate a report of a gas leak when they came upon what they believed to be a drug lab and notified police, authorities said. The house exploded about an hour after the call for gas.
Images from the scene showed much of the house gone and debris strewn on the street and covering parked cars. Parts of the first floor with hollowed-out window panes could be made out.
“I was sleeping and I heard this loud bomb, explosion,” resident Barbara Nardo told WCBS-TV. “I thought maybe it was lightning that hit a car or something.”
Another resident, David Khabinsky, told The New York Times he was getting ready for work when he heard a loud boom.
“Then five minutes later, you hear police sirens, and then helicopter after helicopter after helicopter,” he said.
Police said six officers were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately clear.