GRAVESEND, Brooklyn (PIX11) — An early morning explosion in Brooklyn sparked a fire that ripped through a vacant home and two neighboring houses on Friday, according to authorities.
The FDNY said a call came in at 7:11 a.m. for the explosion and subsequent fire on Bay 35th Street, between Benson Avenue and 86th Street, in the Gravesend neighborhood. No injuries were reported.
Two houses collapsed in the blast and a third home was severely damaged, according to the Department of Buildings. The FDNY tweeted a photo showing that at least one of the houses had collapsed in the fire.
Investigators believe the explosion started in the unoccupied building, Mayor Eric Adams said during a news conference at the scene. The two other buildings next door were occupied, and residents were able to self-evacuate, FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh added.
All three impacted buildings will be taken down due to structural damage, FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said. No one was reported missing or injured, but FDNY units will sift through the rubble as a precaution.
Gas and electricity on the block were turned off as officials assessed the damage. Six people were working with the American Red Cross to find housing and get whatever assistance they needed, said Acting Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management Christina Farrell.
Located in the shadow of the D train, firefighters worked for most of the morning to put out several hot spots amid the rubble. A vehicle parked out front was heavily damaged by bricks and other debris. A police K9 unit was seen searching the rubble to ensure there was no one trapped underneath the collapsed home.
Video from the scene showed the windows of neighboring homes were blown out by the blast. Neighbors stood in the rain outside of their homes, watching firefighters work to bring the situation under control.
Citizen App video showed flames shooting from the roof of one of the homes earlier in the morning.
Police and fire officials told PIX11 News they believe natural gas may have caused the explosion, however, the investigation was still preliminary and ongoing. The mayor and FDNY reminded New Yorkers to call 911 if they smell gas.
The Office of Emergency Management warned of smoke and traffic delays in the area, and advised nearby residents to close their windows.
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the subway line that operates near the home.