Explosion levels Staten Island home as residents flee

May 17, 2011 2:46:15 PM PDT
A fire and apparent explosion leveled part of a Staten Island home, sending a dozen residents fleeing for their lives.

The loud blast rocked the Richmond Terrace home in Mariners Harbor just before 2:45 a.m. Tuesday.

A dozen residents of the home ran outside as two of the exterior walls collapsed. The second floor of the home then caved in.

Walls were blown out and it is truly a miracle that no one was seriously injured in what is considered a suspicious explosion.

"You wouldn't even know how many lives that might have been lost with something like this," said Timothy Bryan.

While Bryan looked at the unbelievable damage, he can't help but wonder about his own life, if he had moved in to this building a day earlier.

Early this morning, a loud explosion rocked the apartment building sending its dozen residents fleeing into the street.

"I thought it was a big thing, a bomb or something," said a clerk at a nearby store.

Scrambling through his apartment, Pete Dermanis tried to get his family out.

Firemen arriving found very little fire, but the one whole side of the house was blown off, much of flying across Harbor Road.

"There is reason enough with this particular fire and explosion to deem this site suspicious, so it is under investigation," said Chief Anthony Orlandi.

Residents who had fled their apartments with little more than the clothes on their backs, huddled together in disbelief.

Fire Marshalls combed through the damage looking for evidence, while others went knocking door to door.