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Authorities launch criminal investigation into fatal N.J. house explosion

Two people were killed in an explosion that leveled a Buena Borough house

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By Jeff Goldman, Nicolas Fernandes
nj.com

BUENA BOROUGH, N.J. — A single-family house in Atlantic County was destroyed Thursday morning after catching fire with witnesses reporting a ground-shaking explosion.

The fire broke out at the home in Buena Borough around 11 a.m. and triggered a massive multi-county response, 6abc.com reported.

Two bodies were recovered from the rubble on Thursday evening and investigators are still searching for another two missing people, Franklin Township Police Chief Matthew DeCesari said in a video of a press conference held Thursday afternoon.

Investigators confirmed that an explosion occurred and it is currently being treated as a crime scene, the police chief said in the video.

Police and firefighters were called to the single-family house near the 300 block of Northwest Boulevard at 10:35 a.m. on Thursday, DeCesari said in the video posted by Fox 29 Philadelphia. Multiple area fire agencies have since put out the blaze.

A 1-year-old girl and 16-year-old girl were rescued from the home and taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, the police chief said in the video. The toddler is in critical condition, while the teen is in stable condition, he said in the video.

Overhead video of the property earlier Thursday showed a pile of rubble where the home stood and debris strewn about. Video from a witness driving through the area showed flames pouring from the area and spreading to neighboring homes.

Authorities have not responded to requests for comment.

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