Massive building explosion in Harrison, NJ - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • Officer struck in hit and run fighting for his life

    Officer struck in hit and run fighting for his life

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:28 PM EDT2014-04-19 22:28:45 GMT
    Bergen County Police Officer Daniel Breslin is fighting for his life at New Jersey's Hackensack Hospital. Officials say Officer Breslin was hit from behind by another vehicle on Route 46 west in Lodi around 2am Saturday morning. Officer Breslin had stopped parallel to another officer's vehicle because that officer was having problems with his radio.Without warning, cops say a Ford Fusion then slammed into Officer Breslin's vehicle.
    Bergen County Police Officer Daniel Breslin is fighting for his life at New Jersey's Hackensack Hospital. Officials say Officer Breslin was hit from behind by another vehicle on Route 46 west in Lodi around 2am Saturday morning. Officer Breslin had stopped parallel to another officer's vehicle because that officer was having problems with his radio.Without warning, cops say a Ford Fusion then slammed into Officer Breslin's vehicle.
  • Woman in custody in NYC stroller snatch attempt

    Woman in custody in NYC stroller snatch attempt

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:55:51 GMT
    Police say an 8-month-old baby was nearly snatched by a stranger while being pushed down a Manhattan street in his stroller, but a bystander intervened to foil the abduction attempt.
    Police say an 8-month-old baby was nearly snatched by a stranger while being pushed down a Manhattan street in his stroller, but a bystander intervened to foil the abduction attempt.
  • Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:11:50 GMT
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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