Update: 4 Dead, 2 Injured in Explosion at Home in Buena, NJ
UPDATE 11:00 AM SATURDAY: A third and fourth body were recovered from the home on Friday. Search operations ended late Friday afternoon.
The identities of the victims have not been released, however, authorities have said a a 2-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, and two men ages 52 and 73 were in the house at the time of the explosion.
1 and 16-year-old girls were last reported to still be at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
UPDATE 8:15 PM THURSDAY: WPVI-TV reports the bodies of two people have been recovered from the rubble but they have not been identified.
Franklin Township Police Chief Matthew DeCesari said,
In the residence was a two-and-a-half-year-old male, a three-and-a-half-year-old female and two adult males ages 52 and 73. At this point, two out of four individuals are still missing. We are working diligently to sift through that rubble and attempt to locate the other two individuals.
A 1-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, previously thought to be a bit older, were injured and flown to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
UPDATE 2:15 PM THURSDAY: Following a press conference, the Franklin Township Police Department has released the following information:
- Four people remain unaccounted for following what is being described as "an explosion" at a home in Buena Borough at 10:35 AM
- A small infant child was removed from the home and taken to a burn center in Pennsylvania
- An adult woman "in her 20s or 30s" was also rescued from the blaze
- Authorities are beginning a criminal investigation into the explosion but would not elaborate. The ATF is en route and crews may be working into next week to find a cause
- Two or three neighboring homes were damaged
Our original report continues below.
A home in Buena Borough has been reduced to rubble after a three-alarm fire Thursday morning.
Published reports say the blaze started just before 11:00 on the 300 block of Northwest Boulevard, just west of Route 40 in the far western portion of Atlantic County.
According to WPVI-TV, a person nearby heard and felt a large "boom." He then went outside and saw smoke coming from the home.
Flames reportedly spread to at least one neighboring home.
Video from KYW-TV shows what's left of the house with debris scattered around the property.
As of 1 PM, there has been no official report of injures, however, WTXF-TV reports a Medevac helicopter rushed at least one person to a local hospital.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.