Queens house explosion - New York News

Queens house explosion

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

An apparent gas explosion rocked a Superstorm Sandy-damaged house in Queens Wednesday afternoon, igniting a raging fire and collapsing a wall.

Authorities are investigating whether recent work on a furnace and water heater lead to the explosion.

The FDNY responded to the fire at 84th Street and 163rd Avenue in Howard Beach, a neighborhood that was hit hard by Sandy, after the 911 call came in at about 1:55 p.m., officials said.

Video from SkyFoxHD showed thick black smoke and huge orange flames spewing from a massive hole in the house's roof.

Dozens of firefighters are battling the fire. Within a few minutes they had knocked down the big flames and continued to pour water on the house, which had partially collapsed. The fire was under control by about 3:15 p.m.

Gas utility workers were called in to shut off the natural gas line, according to the FDNY.

The home was undergoing something called a "gas to gas direct replacement," according to the Department of Buildings website. The job was part of the Rapid Repairs program, which is for home damaged by Sandy.

Firefighters surrounded the home and stopped the fire from spreading to neighboring houses.

A woman who was inside the house at the time of the blast suffered serious burns, Fox 5's Dan Bowens reported. Resoponders rushed her to Jamaica Hospital, the AP reported.

The FDNY has requested that the Buildings Department do "a structural stability inspection due to a gas explosion that caused the rear wall to collapse," according to the DOB website.

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