NBC 4 New York
A big explosion leveled a vacant house in Hempstead, Long Island. The blast also rattled the nerves of many neighbors in the area. Greg Cergol reports.
Investigators are looking into the cause of an explosion that leveled a home in Hempstead on Long Island Wednesday.
About 100 firefighters from seven departments responded to the house on Perry Street. No one was living in the home that exploded, which was reportedly in foreclosure.
Neighbors blocks away said they felt a large explosion Wednesday afternoon.
"I was upstairs in my house when I heard a loud boom. I felt it," said Marie Zamor.
The house next door was also damaged by the blast.
"The windows were blown out, everything got shifted inside there," said Tyrone Davis.
Hempstead Fire Chief Scott Clark said debris scattered as far as 75 feet.
A 9-year-old girl living in the other house next door was taken to the hospital with debris in her eyes. The girl's caretaker was treated for an anxiety attack.
A small fire was reported next door to the leveled house but was quickly extinguished.
Some neighbors, including Davis, said they smelled gas and reported it recent days. But National Grid said there were no immediate signs a gas leak was to blame.
"No gas leaks have been reported in this area in six months," said National Grid spokeswoman Wendy Ladd. "We continue our investigation with the Nassau County fire marshal to find out the cause."