Firefighters Injured in West Haverstraw (NY) Gas Explosion

A large natural gas explosion in West Haverstraw, New York. leveled a condo and injured two firefighters Monday. The firefighters were seriously injured and transported to a nearby medical facility.

Volunteer firefighters Jerry Knapp, a longtime contributor to Fire Engineering and author of the Suburban Firefighting Web column, and Ken Patterson were knocking on the front door of a home when the explosion occurred, tossing them nearly 30 feet. Knapp suffered burns to the face, while Patterson’s leg was burned. The injuries are not life-threatening, according to a report in the New York Daily News (http://nydn.us/xYZ94Q).

More than 100 homes were evacuated during the incident, according to a report on lohud.com (http://lohud.us/xxlPXy). The explosion led to a large gas-fueled fire. Four people were injured in the incident, which left much of West Haverstraw without electricity as utility crews turned off power to avoid the possibility of sparks setting off more gas explosions.

Seemingly routine calls for gas leaks can turn into extremely dangerous situations for firefighters and civilians alike. In a new column, Dan Sheridan writes about some of the hazards associated with gas leaks.

Video below courtesy of WNYW.

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