NY, NY –

WABC,Lisa Colagrassi — In the Bronx – opening up shop turned explosive this morning for employees of an Associated Supermarket. When they went to turn on the lights it triggered a gas explosion and sent flames ripping through the building.

It happened at the Associated Supermarket on East 163rd Street in the Longwood section. This grocery store has been a fixture in this Bronx neighborhood for years, and this morning just before 8:00 a.m. there was an explosion and fire. The business was destroyed and 9 people were hurt.

In the flash of an instant this Associated Grocery store on 163rd Street went up in flames.

Fire officials say the explosion may have been triggered by turning on the light switch.

Bat. Chief Kevin Corrigan, FDNY: “When the owners and some workers went to open up this morning they were at the entrance, they noticed an odor of gas and there may have been an explosion but it’s still under investigation but they had the smell of gas and it looks like there is some structural damage right above where a space heater was.”

The owner suffered burns on his hands and face and his two employees were injured as well. Jose Miranda works at the dry cleaners nearby.

Jose Miranda, Business Owner: “When the guy opened the gate there was a bang and I heard the shake but I didn’t think anything of it until the girl ran and told me to call the ambulance, that there was an explosion.”

Fortunately none of these injuries are life-threatening. Three people are at Jacoby Medical Center. Those people are three employees of the store. Three firefighters were also hurt and three nearby residents are also being treated for smoke inhalation.

As we mentioned, they suspect that a gas heater of some sort caused this explosion but investigators are still on the scene trying to pin down the exact cause of this fire.