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N.J. first responders rescue 6 people trapped in house explosion

Two patients were flown to hospitals after being removed from the rubble of the West Milford house


Upper Greenwood Lake Volunteer Fire Company 5/Facebook

By Muri Assunção
New York Daily News

WEST MILFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A home in northwest New Jersey exploded Friday night, sending five people to the hospital and “heavily” damaging its structure, authorities said early Saturday morning.

Police in the township of West Milford said dispatchers received multiple 911 calls around 9 p.m. reporting a possible explosion in a home on Banker Road of Upper Greenwood Lake, a private community with approximately 2,100 properties.

When officers arrived at the scene, they confirmed “a house was heavily damaged by the explosion.”

First responders began rescuing people from the rubble and transported five victims to nearby hospitals, according to Captain Anthony Parrello, with the West Milford police.

Two of the victims were airlifted to Morristown Medical Center, one was taken to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, one to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, and one to the Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack.

A sixth victim refused further medical assistance, Parrello said.

The five who were transported to hospitals appeared to be in “decent shape,” neighbor Keith Foster, who saw them being taken out of the house, told ABC7NY.

“I came over here [to] just try to help out — as best as I could [but] there was nothing for me to do,” he said, adding “the house is completely gone.”

The victims’ identities were not immediately made known.

West Milford Deputy Fire Chief Rich Poplaski said the house collapsed as a result of an “unknown cause,” according to

The incident is currently under investigation by the West Milford Detective Bureau, as well as the fire marshal’s offices from both the town and the state, Parrello said.

West Milford is located approximately 48 miles northwest of New York City.

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