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New Jersey home explodes while volunteer firefighters are inside: How did it happen?

Six firefighters were injured early Saturday morning when a home they were investigating for a smoke smell exploded, a volunteer fire department said. The explosion caused a large fire and partially collapsed the house.

The Pompton Lakes Volunteer Fire Department said that a police sergeant had called to report smelling smoke coming from the home. Firefighters went inside to determine the source of the smoke when the home suddenly exploded.

“Within a couple minutes of their entrance, and while using a thermal imaging camera to locate the problem, the home literally exploded, injuring some members manning the hose line at the back of the home and partially trapping others in the basement,” the department said in a statement on Facebook.

All of the firefighters survived the blast and managed to escape the burning building, the department said. Two of the firefighters suffered burns and were transported to the hospital, while the other four were treated at the scene. The two firefighters who were hospitalized have since been released.

The lone occupant of the home was also evacuated and told officials that he did not know how the fire started.

“I thought we were going to have six fatalities, I really did,” Pompton Lakes Fire Chief Jason Ekkers told “They managed to climb out of the basement with compromised stairs. They all helped each other out, they came out one at a time, and we were at the back door, just feeding them out.”

Investigator are working to determine the cause of the explosion.

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