NY – Wil Cruz, Newsday
A gas leak in a basement apartment in Lake Grove triggered a house explosion last night that injured 10 people, including three firefighters and two people who were seriously burned, officials said.
The house at 28 Sarah Dr. caught fire and exploded yesterday about 11 p.m., and Suffolk Police Arson detectives believe the cause was a broken gas line that fed to a natural gas stove.
It was unclear how long the flexible line had been compromised, but once an unknown source ignited the gas, the house blew up.
“Once compromised, it’s just a free-flowing of gas,” said Dt. Sgt. George White. “Especially in a basement… there’s just no place for it to vent.”
Fire officials said the Centereach Fire Department and five other departments responded to the house fire at 11:03 p.m. Tuesday.
The blast left seven civilian victims — six men and a woman, all in their 20s — seriously burned. They were rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital, where police said two of them were in extremely critical condition.
The other five were listed as serious, police said. A Stony Brook spokeswoman could not immediately confirm that the hospital had received any of the patients.
The civilian victims were not immediately named. Police only said that one of them rented the basement apartment and others were visiting the place when it exploded.
The fire — which is being investigated by arson detectives, Suffolk’s Fire Marshals office and the Lake Grove Fire Marshal — does not appear to be suspicious, police said.