Man killed in New Jersey house explosion identified

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ELIZABETH, N.J. — The man who died in an explosion on Wednesday that injured dozens of people and destroyed homes has been identified.

Femi Brown, 24, of 1035 Magnolia Ave., died when the blast went off around 8 a.m. in the 1000 block of Magnolia Avenue, where the second floor of a home was leveled, according to officials and witness video.

Fifteen others were hurt, including an 11-year-old, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said in a news conference. Two of those victims are in critical condition, he added.

Most of those in the duplex — more than a dozen in all — were in the rear of the house and some were still sleeping when the blast went off, Bollwage said. It’s not known whether there were any illegal apartments in the duplex.

Seven buildings near the blast site were impacted, Bollwage said.

Utility company spokesman Duane Borne told PIX11 News preliminary inspections found no gas leaks in the immediate area and crews are checking underground for sources of a possible leak.

The cause of the blast has not been determined. A perimeter around the home has been expanded.

Red Cross has responded and is helping 13 families displaced by the explosion.