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Homes Evacuated After Reported Explosion On Staten Island; 3 Injured

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Homes in a three-block radius were evacuated on Staten Island Wednesday, after a reported explosion and fire in one house.

Homes Evacuated After Fire, Gas Leak Staten Island; 3 Injured

The FDNY was not calling the incident an explosion Wednesday night, but many neighbors said they heard a boom.

The subsequent fire resulted in three injuries -- including one to a firefighter.

The FNDY responded shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday to a gas odor inside the house at 101 Delaware St. in the Todt Hill section of Staten Island. They discovered a fire in the basement.

Homes Evacuated After Fire, Gas Leak Staten Island; 3 Injured

Two people were taken from the house to Staten Island University Hospital and were reported in serious, but stable condition, officials said. The nature of their injuries was not immediately learned.

An injured firefighter was also reported in serious, but stable condition, 1010 WINS reported.

Neighbors said they smelled gas on the block before they heard an explosion.

Neighbor Jason Saporito called National Grid when he smelled gas, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

"A technician went in to inspect the sewer connection," he said.

At that moment, he too heard the explosion. His wife, Liz, was out front.

"I heard a big boom – really I was right there, looking right at it – and I just saw some debris flying, and the firemen rushed to the door, knocked on the door, and grabbed the two people that were inside," Liz Saporito told 1010 WINS reporter Holli Haerr.

"I said to my husband, 'We've got to get out of here. We've got to get out of here,'" Liz Saporito added.

Firefighters took readings in manholes late Wednesday for any gas in the sewer system.

"We're a little worried about the house right now, because it's right outside our house," Liz Saporito said.

Homes within a three-block radius were evacuated due to the incident, officials said.

In all, at least 18 homes were evacuated.

Two Metropolitan Transportation Authority warming buses were also dispatched to keep displaced residents warm.

Several area streets were also blocked off.

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