Long Island, NY – A gas explosion close to JFK airport destroyed three Long Island houses in a huge fire Sunday morning, with two firefighters and a homeowner all airlifted to the hospital, according to officials.
Terrifying videos showed houses completely in flames in Meadowmere Park, Nassau County, following the explosion around 5:39 a.m. Sunday.
The explosion razed one house, with others either side of it almost completely destroyed once the inferno was controlled a few hours later, images show.
The explosion blew large chunks of a roof into a house across the road — one owned by the local fire chief of department, Kevin Carrero, who raced his own five kids to safety before rushing to help with the rescue.
“It was like a big explosion — like a bomb going off,” Carrero recalled, saying “everybody felt it here.”
“It was a fireball,” the fire official said.
An unidentified man at the house where the explosion happened suffered critical burns and smoke inhalation, serious while two firefighters were injured when a wall collapsed, officials said. All were airlifted to a local hospital.
Meadowmere Park borders Queens and is close to JFK airport. The New York City Fire Department joined local crews in responding.
Uttaro said that it “looks like a natural gas-fed fire,” stressing, “Right now it does not look suspicious.” The exact cause is still being investigated, he said.
As well as the fire chief, other neighbors who rushed to help included at least a local nurse who lives two doors away.
She told The Post that the “big boom” that shook her whole house.
“We thought a plane crashed in the yard,” said the first responder, who asked for her name not to be used.
She raced to one of the burning houses where “everyone was screaming” except a senior in her 60s or 70s who was in shock and needed oxygen.
“She kept saying, ‘My house, it’s completely gone!’” the nurse recalled.
“I told her, ‘You’re alive! Material things can be replaced,’” she said. “It’s very sad.”