NEW YORK (CNN) — A suspected gas explosion on Saturday afternoon left one person dead and three others injured in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, officials said.
Firefighters responded within three minutes and were able to evacuate residents of surrounding buildings, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. As of early Saturday evening, a fire was under control but still smoldering.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that the preliminary cause of the explosion had been traced to a stove exchange on the residential second floor of the mixed-use building. A resident was moving out and taking the stove, which requires disconnecting the gas line, officials said.
Fire officials said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether any laws had been violated relating to the way the stove was being handled.
The three-story structure sustained heavy damage, and authorities described bricks flying into the street from the force of the blast. While one nearby structure sustained heavy damage, others had smoke damage.
Five firefighters suffered minor injuries, in addition to the civilian casualty and injuries. The identity of the deceased person has not been revealed. Authorities are still trying to confirm the whereabouts of one individual, the mayor said
If it is verified to be a gas explosion, this is the latest in a string of deadly gas-related explosions in New York in the past few years. A 2014 fire leveled two buildings in Harlem, killing eight and injuring nearly 70 people. In March of this year, a blast destroyed two buildings in the East Village, leaving two dead and a dozen injured.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for a state investigation into the incident, calling the recent trend of explosions “disturbing.”
De Blasio encouraged New Yorkers to call 911 if they ever smell gas, and said that the FDNY would come to check.
“Better safe than sorry,” he said.
No such call was made in today’s incident, according to authorities.