An 18-month-old baby boy has been killed in a Brentwood house explosion that leveled the home and injured at least 10 others shortly before noon Tuesday.
Six people were in the house at the time of the explosion, including four family members, a plumber and a real estate agent, authorities said. Seven first responders were injured during the response and a neighbor outside the house suffered minor injuries.
Suffolk County Police Deputy Chief John Meehan called the explosion “extremely destructive and powerful,” damaging several surrounding homes.
Police said earlier that four people were in critical condition and three were listed as stable.
The child was “found fairly early” and rushed to the hospital, where he died shortly later, Meehan said.
Five police officers were treated for smoke inhalation and two firefighters were taken to a local hospital, one with chest pains.
It’s too early to discuss specific injuries suffered by those in the house, Ryan O’Connor, EMS Branch director of Brentwood Ambulance Service told reporters at the scene.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation, but it “could be gas related,” officials said.
A National Grid spokeswoman said there’s no natural gas in the area. The house had two 200-pound propane tanks, police said, but it’s unclear what they were being used for.
“We’ll be at this for quite some time,” said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Homicide Squad.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene that broke out on pine-tree lined Prospect Drive near the Brentwood Country Club.
“It just blew and dropped everything to the ground,” said David Grant, 56, a neighbor who helped cops and firefighters pull victims from the house. Grant said he heard a “boom” while doing yard work on his house around the block.
Frank Catalano, a contractor who had been repairing water damage at the house, said he was scheduled to have a meeting at the house Tuesday afternoon. “We were just lucky we weren’t there,” he said.
Police said the first of several 911 calls came in at 11:55 a.m.
At least 10 fire departments responded to the scene. Dozens of firefighters and cops were seen sorting through the wreckage through the evening.
This is the second time in two years that a house exploded in Brentwood. Last year, a gas leak caused a vacant house to explode. No one was seriously injured, but 21 people were hospitalized.