A gas stove is the suspected source of an explosion Saturday that killed a woman, injured three passersby and devastated a three-story building in Brooklyn, New York.
The 1 p.m. blast tore the facade from the front of a building on 42nd Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park, fire officials said.
The explosion might have been sparked while a high-end stove was being disconnected from a gas line, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said during a news conference with Mayor de Blasio. Investigators believe the blast occurred on the second floor, he said.
The woman who died was found in a stairwell near the second floor, the commissioner said. Her identity wasn't disclosed. Firefighters believe she was the only person in the building.
A 33-year-old man and his 10-year-old son and a 27-year-old man were injured by bricks and other debris blown onto the sidewalk as they walked past the front of the building, Nigro said. They are expected to survive their injuries but were taken to area hospitals.
Approximately 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which was quickly brought under control. Five firefighters sustained minor injuries, Nigro said.
It appears that the building is home to housewares store and several apartments. The building was severely damaged and could collapse, fire officials said.
"We will be doing a full investigation," said de Blasio.
The incident prompted Gov. Cuomo to direct the state Department of Public Service to investigate the cause of the explosion.
"This explosion is the latest in a disturbing trend of incidents that occurred in Harlem and the East Village," he said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by today's explosion, especially the friends and family of those lost or injured."
On March 26, a gas line exploded at a Sushi restaurant in the East Village. Two men were killed and 25 others were injured. Evidence indicated that someone had tampered with the gas lines or meters, investigators said at the time.
The East Village incident occurred one year after a similar blast killed eight people in an East Harlem building. Federal investigators released a a report a few months ago that blamed the explosion on poorly crafted pipe-joint and an old sewer line that cause a gas line to break.