Police in New York are investigating the cause of a Tuesday fire in the Bronx that reportedly began after an explosion at a townhouse. A building collapse was triggered in the ordeal and local reports say at least one person is dead and several people were injured, according police and fire officials.
As PIX11 reported, an emergency call came in around 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday advising of an explosion and building collapse. Police and the fire department arrived at the scene of a fire roaring through a 3-story residential structure, as seen in video shared on Twitter by police.
77-year-old Martha Dagbasta was pronounced dead at the scene police announced, according to PIX11.
NBC 4 New York reported that at least five police officers suffered smoke inhalation while inside the structure trying to rescue victims.
Police are still investigating what occurred, and say the reported blast was originally thought to be related to gas, but the gas company servicing the area, Con Ed, says there was no indication that it was gas related. New York mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that the city had turned gas off for the entire block as a safety measure, NBC 4 reported.
Currently at the scene of a massive fire due to a gas explosion in my district. All emergency first responders are on the scene and currently battling the fire.— Rafael Salamanca (@CMSalamancaJr) January 18, 2022
I will continue to remain on site with my team as long as it takes to get answers and ensure the community’s safety pic.twitter.com/S2uwyqWdOl
Images from the scene shared by reporters and police show black smoke billowing out of multiple windows of a row of homes as firefighters fought to extinguish the flames. As NBC 4 noted, the fire happened about 3 miles south of the recent deadly Bronx blaze in an apartment building that killed 17 people.