Massive building explosion in Harrison, NJ - New York News

Investigators try to determine cause of Harrison explosion

Posted: Updated:
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

There's no word yet what sparked a five-alarm fire in Harrison, New Jersey that injured five Jersey City firefighters. The fire Sunday morning apparently started in a restaurant on the ground floor of a two-story building.

A massive back draft explosion went off and rocked the block.

The firefighters are expected to be ok.  At least six families were homeless as a result of the fire. 

Cell phone video showed the massive back draft explosion as it erupted in a flaming building on Frank E. Rogers Boulevard. 

"First it was some then after the explosion the flames came out and went into the homes," said Diego Basante. 

"I heard a noise and I saw smoke going up into the air," said eyewitness Donna Padovano. "It was very scary, there were flames coming from every single window."

Firefighters were here fighting an existent fire and when the blast went off some went flying through the air. 

"They were literally thrown out of the building by the smoke explosion," said Harrison Fire Capt. Robert Gille. 

The five Jersey City firefighters were rushed to the hospital. Fire Captain Gille says two were held for further examination and at least one suffered serious cuts and another reported chest pains. 

The fire also spread upstairs to the Dios Luz and Vida church, where Sunday morning services were underway. 

"We had just finished prayer and worship when I walked past the door and I saw a lot of people and they were yelling fire!" 

Jackeline Flores, the granddaughter of the church's pastor, helped evacuate more than 50 people from the church. 

"When the explosion happened we saw the firefighters pull back and we saw one person injured on the ground, that's when it hit us our church was lost," Flores said. 

Flores says the congregation lost everything in the fire, including newly purchased equipment that was to be used in a special anniversary celebration next month. 

"We're thankful overall God got all of us out save and the materials can be replaced. 

The Red Cross said they were assisting more than 15 people displaced by the fire. The cause remains under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • FEMA chief questioned over Sandy claims

    FEMA chief questioned over Sandy claims

    Hurricane Sandy damage in Mantoloking, N.J.Hurricane Sandy damage in Mantoloking, N.J.
    The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked an independent watchdog to examine whether the flood-insurance program is shortchanging Superstorm Sandy victims.
    The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked an independent watchdog to examine whether the flood-insurance program is shortchanging Superstorm Sandy victims.
  • Teen pleads guilty in 1 World Trade Center climb

    Teen pleads guilty in 1 World Trade Center climb

    A teenager who made a surreptitious climb to the top of the 1 World Trade Center tower has pleaded guilty in an escapade that fanned concerns about security at the nation's tallest building.
    A teenager who made a surreptitious climb to the top of the 1 World Trade Center tower has pleaded guilty in an escapade that fanned concerns about security at the nation's tallest building.
  • Newark police officer shot

    Newark police officer shot

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:04 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:04:39 GMT
    A Newark police officer was shot in the leg while trying to arrest an armed robbery suspect Wednesday afternoon, officials said. The officer, a 19-year veteran of the force assigned to the 5th Precinct, suffered a gunshot wound in his lower leg, according to the head of the police union.
    A Newark police officer was shot in the leg while trying to arrest an armed robbery suspect Wednesday afternoon, officials said. The officer, a 19-year veteran of the force assigned to the 5th Precinct, suffered a gunshot wound in his lower leg, according to the head of the police union.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dad delivers baby into toilet

    Dad delivers baby into toilet

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:56 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:56:19 GMT
    A Connecticut father proudly helped deliver his own baby... into a toilet.
    A Connecticut father proudly helped deliver his own baby... into a toilet.
  • Summit at City Hall to discuss police-community relations

    Summit at City Hall to discuss police-community relations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:50 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:50:33 GMT
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City will be at the center of a summit held at City Hall on Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders are expected to attend the round table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island lead Mayor De Blasio to host the forum.
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City will be at the center of a summit held at City Hall on Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders are expected to attend the round table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island lead Mayor De Blasio to host the forum.
  • 8 fined $144,500 in Long Island cheating scandals

    8 fined $144,500 in Long Island cheating scandals

    State records show two administrators and six educators were fined a total of $145,500 in connection with two separate cheating scandals in Glen Cove City schools on Long Island.
    State records show two administrators and six educators were fined a total of $145,500 in connection with two separate cheating scandals in Glen Cove City schools on Long Island.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices