What to Know
- The entire bungalow went up in flames, injuring more than a dozen people; at least three victims were badly hurt
- Neighbors said at the scene that there were teenage boys from New York City, possibly Brooklyn, staying there for a Hasidic camp
- The neighbors said the boys returned to the bungalow, smelled gas and opened a window; then it blew up
More than a dozen people were hurt, some critically, when they returned to a New York bungalow at a camp for teenage boys and it suddenly exploded, igniting a massive fire, witnesses and officials say.
Fourteen people were injured when the Monroe bungalow on Cromwell Road exploded and went up in flames early Friday around 12:15, Vini Tankasali, Department Commissioner of Emergency Services for Orange County, said. Three people were critically injured and Tankasali said at least one of the injured were airlifted. The injured are being treated at an area hospital.
Neighbors said at the scene that there were teenage boys from New York City, possibly Brooklyn, staying in the bungalow for a Hasidic camp. The neighbors said the boys returned to the bungalow, smelled gas and opened a window. It was then when the bungalow blew up.
Tankasali could not independently confirm the explosion was the result of a gas leak.
Video from the scene shows a home completely engulfed in flames and smoke as firefighters work to put out the inferno.
Tankasali said eight fire departments were able to put out the blaze in about 40 minutes. He said the fire was in a non-fire-hydrant area so other departments were called in for water.
A witness at the scene said the explosions was so powerful he felt in a nearby bungalow.
"I was in the bungalow right near here and a guy started screaming 'fire,'" the witness said.
The camp is about an hour northwest of NYC.
The cause of the explosion and inferno is still under investigation.