Several homes catch fire after gas explosion in Nassau County

MEADOWMERE, Long Island (WABC) -- Fire engulfed three homes in Meadowmere after an early morning explosion that rocked the neighborhood Sunday.

At least two firefighters and one civilian were injured and witnesses say it looked like a fireball hit their street.

The explosion was reported at 15 West Avenue just before 6 a.m. and caused three homes to catch fire.

It is believed the explosion happened at the house in the middle of the three. Flames quickly shifted to the home on the right before wind shifted the flames to the other home.

"It just sounded like a bomb, a big huge bomb, enough to scare me," neighbor Kerry Madden said.

The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department posted video that showed the flames had spread to multiple homes.
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Several homes caught fire after a gas explosion in Nassau County early Sunday morning.



Several surrounding agencies responded, including the FDNY, to quickly put out the flames. The fire was under control within about two hours.

Despite the quick action, several homes were reduced to rubble.

At least two firefighters were seriously injured when a wall collapsed. One was taken to South Nassau Hospital while the other was airlifted to Nassau University Medical Center. Despite the injuries, both firefighters are said to be stable.

A male civilian who was in the middle house was also airlifted to NUMC for bad burns and smoke inhalation.

The explosion woke the fire chief who lives across the street. He evacuated his family then ran to help his neighbors.

He said water supply was an issue and the intensity of the flames caused the collapsing.

The injured firefighters are going to survive and will likely be released from the hospital later Sunday.

Fire officials are working with Nassau County Bomb Squad to investigate the explosion. Right now, authorities say it looks like natural gas and it doesn't appear to be suspicious.

Motorists are advised that Rockaway Turnpike between Brookville Avenue and Peninsula Boulevard is now open in both directions. It was closed earlier due to the fire.

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