A gas explosion tore through an unoccupied building at 67 Bay 35th Street and damaged two adjoining homes shortly after 7 a.m. Friday.
Residents of the adjoining buildings evacuated and two civilians suffered minor injuries, according to the FDNY.
“We are as a precaution going to sift through the rubble of the buildings, to confirm that no one was inside,” said Acting Chief of Department John Hodgens. “We want to make it very clear, if you smell an odor of gas you should call 911. The Fire Department will immediately respond to investigate. This incident is under investigation by FDNY fire marshals and NYPD.”
Personnel from New York City Emergency Management, the Red Cross and the New York City Department of Buildings were also at the scene.
The 62nd Precinct told people to avoid the area.
“There is a heavy police and FDNY presence in the vicinity of Benson Avenue, between Bay 35 Street and 23 Avenue,” the precinct tweeted. “There will be intermittent street closures while we conduct an investigation.”
Hodgens said the three buildings will have to be demolished because of structural damage.