Mom Waiting for Kids to Return From School Escapes Exploding House in New York

A mother waiting for her three children to return home from school in Orange County, New York, was briefly trapped in a house that exploded before she was able to escape with the family dog, officials and neighbors said. 

The blast on Walling Road in the Pine Island hamlet of Warwick rocked the neighborhood just before 4 p.m. Tuesday. 

"It shook the entire house, the windows shook, I had things hanging on the wall that fell off my walls," said neighbor Noreen Quackenbush.

Her son Colby said, "It just looked like a really big fireplace, there was really nothing left. A lot of it was just obliterated. The grass was burnt." 

A neighbor who did not want to be identified said she was frightened for the family living in the house. 

"It was terrible, terrible, I started crying, I ran out of the house to go see her," the neighbor said. 

Noreen Quackenbush said, "I was worried about the three kids and her in the house, because I know she's home for them when they get off the bus." 

"As soon as we got down there, we saw that she was out, and they said the kids were still on the bus, they were on their way home and they were going to be re-routed to someone else's home," she said. 

The Orange County Emergency Service Deputy Commissioner said multiple fire departments responded to the explosion.

A police department in Bergen County, New Jersey, took to Facebook Tuesday night to rally support for the family, whom they call a "staple in Allendale for decades." 

The family's connection to the New Jersey borough, about 40 miles from Warwick, wasn't immediately clear, but the Allendale Police Department said the Kunisch family "serve a dinner and a cold beer close to home and always do it with a smile. They are community-oriented, providing a conduit for local organizations to fundraise for various organizations." 

"Their family has been in Allendale doing the right thing for the community, and now the community has a chance to pay that back," the police department wrote on Facebook, linking to a GoFundMe page for the family

A cause of the explosion is still being investigated. 

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