Investigators are expected to be back at the scene of a major house explosion in the Villas section of Lower Township Friday morning to try and figure out what happened in the neighborhood where officials say new gas lines were recently installed.
It was an explosion that rocked a neighborhood, leveled a house and sent two residents to the hospital.
"This is a unique situation we were dealt, it is not a common occurrence," said Chief Rich Harron Jr. of the Villas Fire Company.
It was around 3:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon when residents on East Atlantic Avenue in the Villas felt the figurative and literal shockwaves of an explosion in their neighborhood.
"I didn't know what happened, I was at a loss for words, and it felt like an earthquake to be honest," said witness Robert Jenkins.
The explosion scattered doors and windows across the street. Neighbors say they ran to the assistance of who they say are the elderly residents of the destroyed house.
"Just smoke and rubble and debris. We didn't go far in the house it was basically blown to smithereens, there wasn't much left," said neighbor Nick Blasi.
"Once the first responding engine got here they got the scene under control and backed people up but I'll tell you civilian people did help out initially," said Chief Harron.
Fire officials were unaware of where the victims where transported to but a police officer on scene said they were flown to Crozer–Chester Medical Center. Witnesses on scene did say they victims were responsive when they arrived on scene. Fire officials say the area was evacuated as the utility companies secured gas lines. Local, county, state and federal agencies will return to the scene on Friday.
"This is standard for this incident, its been a long time since something like this has happened in our area," said Harron.
Fire officials say the official investigation will begin Friday morning with local and county agencies participating as well as the New Jersey Bomb Squad and the ATF.
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