Off-Duty Police Officer Saves Man After Home Explosion Causes 'Sonic Boom'
The officer and first responders dug through the rubble to recover the victim
A home in Ridgefield, New Jersey, exploded on Monday, terrifying neighbors and others in the vicinity as large pillars of smoke grew visible from Manhattan.
The blast, which was caused by a gas leak according to authorities, felt like a “sonic boom,” CBS New York reports. Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez said one person was in the garage when the incident took place and suffered lacerations.
An off-duty police officer rushed to the scene to help with the rescue after the house collapsed, according to NBC New York, which also reported that the officer and first responders dug through the rubble to recover the victim, who was later rushed to Hackensack University Medical Center.
Neighbors told ABC New York that the noise from the explosion was similar to a plane crash.
“The sound was to me a helicopter or an earthquake. My son said a bomb. I went outside right away and I didn’t see no other house, and someone said the house exploded. Scary,” a witness told CBS New York.
Aerial photos show the extensive damage to the house as well as a nearby car that was crushed, blackened and buried under the debris.
The Ridgefield Police and Fire Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.