An explosion at a vacant house rocked a Gravesend block Friday morning, leaving multiple families without homes, though no injuries were reported, FDNY officials said.
Shortly after 7 a.m., more than 100 firefighters rushed to the scene in under four minutes at 67 Bay 35th Street in Brooklyn, officials said. FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said no one was reported missing or injured during a press conference Friday morning.
“Just as a precaution, we’re going to sift through the rubble of the building,” Hodgens said, to ensure that no one had been inside the vacant building at the time of the explosion. Six people in the two surrounding homes had been able to evacuate safely on their own, but would not be able to return due to extensive structural damage, he said. Officials are investigating if the explosion was caused by gas.
Neighbor Yuquing Chen, whose home was destroyed in the explosion, told Freedom News TV that he and his family had started to smell gas often since last summer and had frequently called 311 and 911 to complain.
“We call every morning. We call many, many times,” he said. “They came here, they check and they did not do anything.”
But fire officials denied receiving any call for gas complaints and urged any New Yorker who smells gas to call 911 immediately. At the scene, Mayor Eric Adams urged New Yorkers to do the same.
“We take the smell of gas seriously,” Adams said. “You smell gas, it’s a unique smell, immediately call 911.”
The explosion was the second in recent weeks. On January 18th an explosion in the Bronx killed one woman and critically injured several others.