Explosion Destroys House in Queens

An explosion destroyed the back half of a house in Queens on Thanksgiving, fire officials say.

Firefighters got a call about a small gas explosion at a home on 108th Street in Ozone Park at about 1:45 p.m., the FDNY says. 

When crews arrived, they found the back of the home reduced to rubble, with debris strewn about the back yard. The front of the home still stands.

One person was taken to the hospital with serious burns but is expected to survive.

Neighbor Kareshma Sevapatti told NBC 4 New York she was cooking Thanksgiving dinner when she heard a loud blast that reverberated through her house. She walked out and saw the destruction. 

"The back of the house, it exploded," she said. 

The homeowners' granddaughter, Moraine Ramnarin, said that they normally spend Thanksgiving at the house but switched the tradition this year and were at her aunt's house at the time of the blast. 

"We can't come here anymore at all, and my grandmother is inside breaking down in tears on Thanksgiving," she said.

Ramnarin's grandfather told NBC 4 New York he smelled gas in the days before the blast.

National Grid said Thursday that it had responded to a small street leak at the home in March. Technicians determined that the leak needed to be monitored and no repairs were needed.

The utility said the explosion is under investigation and said it could be some time before the cause of the blast could be determined.

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