2 Hurt in Staten Island House Explosion: FDNY

Neighbors said they smelled gas in their homes and on the street before the explosion

By Ida Siegal
|  Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 6:50 AM EDT
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2 Hurt in Staten Island House Explosion: FDNY

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A house explosion on Staten Island Wednesday afternoon hurt two people and forced authorities to evacuate homes within a three-block radius, authorities say. 

Emergency responders got a call for a smell of gas at 101 Delaware St. in the Dongan Hills section about 5 p.m., according to the FDNY.

There was a small explosion in the basement shortly after the call was placed. Two people were hurt but are expected to be OK, authorities say. 

Liz and Jason Saporito were home across the street and say they smelled gas in their own home and on the streets more than an hour before the explosion.

"On our whole block, really," Liz Saporito said. "As soon as I opened my car door, I smelled the gas." 

They called the gas company, and a worker was checking out the Saporitos' basement when the blast shook their neighbor's home. 

Eighteen homes within a three-block radius were evacuated while crews evaluated houses to make sure there were no new problems, officials say. Resident didn't have to leave their homes overnight, and National Grid didn't have to cut off gas in the area.

Crews are still looking into what caused the gas smell and explosion.

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