Massive building explosion in Harrison, NJ - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Investigators try to determine cause of Harrison explosion

Posted: Updated:
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

There's no word yet what sparked a five-alarm fire in Harrison, New Jersey that injured five Jersey City firefighters. The fire Sunday morning apparently started in a restaurant on the ground floor of a two-story building.

A massive back draft explosion went off and rocked the block.

The firefighters are expected to be ok.  At least six families were homeless as a result of the fire. 

Cell phone video showed the massive back draft explosion as it erupted in a flaming building on Frank E. Rogers Boulevard. 

"First it was some then after the explosion the flames came out and went into the homes," said Diego Basante. 

"I heard a noise and I saw smoke going up into the air," said eyewitness Donna Padovano. "It was very scary, there were flames coming from every single window."

Firefighters were here fighting an existent fire and when the blast went off some went flying through the air. 

"They were literally thrown out of the building by the smoke explosion," said Harrison Fire Capt. Robert Gille. 

The five Jersey City firefighters were rushed to the hospital. Fire Captain Gille says two were held for further examination and at least one suffered serious cuts and another reported chest pains. 

The fire also spread upstairs to the Dios Luz and Vida church, where Sunday morning services were underway. 

"We had just finished prayer and worship when I walked past the door and I saw a lot of people and they were yelling fire!" 

Jackeline Flores, the granddaughter of the church's pastor, helped evacuate more than 50 people from the church. 

"When the explosion happened we saw the firefighters pull back and we saw one person injured on the ground, that's when it hit us our church was lost," Flores said. 

Flores says the congregation lost everything in the fire, including newly purchased equipment that was to be used in a special anniversary celebration next month. 

"We're thankful overall God got all of us out save and the materials can be replaced. 

The Red Cross said they were assisting more than 15 people displaced by the fire. The cause remains under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Owner says Showboat will definitely close Sunday

    Owner says Showboat will definitely close Sunday

    Its owner says Atlantic City's Showboat Casino Hotel will definitely shut down on Sunday.  A spokeswoman for Caesars Entertainment tells The Associated Press that despite expressions of interest from potential purchasers, the casino will be closed at 4 p.m. Sunday. Showboat is one of three Atlantic City casinos closing in the next few weeks.
    Its owner says Atlantic City's Showboat Casino Hotel will definitely shut down on Sunday.  A spokeswoman for Caesars Entertainment tells The Associated Press that despite expressions of interest from potential purchasers, the casino will be closed at 4 p.m. Sunday. Showboat is one of three Atlantic City casinos closing in the next few weeks.
  • Cristobal to churn surf along Jersey shore

    Cristobal to churn surf along Jersey shore

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:14 AM EDT2014-08-27 13:14:52 GMT
    Swimmers and lifeguards are facing a high risk for rip currents along New Jersey beaches. The National Weather Service says Hurricane Cristobal is predicted to pass well to the southeast of the New Jersey coast on Wednesday night. Long period swells will spread out from the storm, churning up the surf along Jersey shore beaches.
    Swimmers and lifeguards are facing a high risk for rip currents along New Jersey beaches. The National Weather Service says Hurricane Cristobal is predicted to pass well to the southeast of the New Jersey coast on Wednesday night. Long period swells will spread out from the storm, churning up the surf along Jersey shore beaches.
  • NJ store clerk accused of kissing customer

    NJ store clerk accused of kissing customer

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:41 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:41:29 GMT
    Police say a convenience store clerk in New Jersey hugged and kissed her against her will.
    Police say a convenience store clerk in New Jersey hugged and kissed her against her will.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices