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Police: Explosion Near Queens Synagogue Was Caused By Homemade Firework

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An explosion from a firework set off a panic in Queens on Friday night.

The NYPD says it started off as a dispute, then a homemade firework was tossed into the street in Ozone Park.

As CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reports, people heard an explosion and immediately called police.

It happened near a synagogue, but the NYPD says there's no clear connection to the house of worship or indication that it was targeted at this time.

Police say around 8:30 p.m., two men became involved in some sort of dispute in front of 8233 Lefferts Boulevard. One allegedly threw a firework at the other from outside a van, then drove off.

The firework exploded in the street near the synagogue. People outside saw something exploded and called 911.

"I was in the synagogue. We were in the middle of a service, and we just heard a huge bang and everybody was just a little bit kind of alarmed. We were not sure what it was a bang about," Markiel Babekov said.

"From my window, it was just like a big cloud of white smoke that dissipated in a few seconds, but it was really loud. I'm on the fourth floor, so it was like, the windows kind of rattled a little bit," neighbor Chris Beck said.

Sources tell CBS2 it appears to be a homemade firework, which was in a box, and caused a smoke condition.

There was no damage to nearby buildings and no reported injuries. The bomb squad, the fire marshall and the NYPD were on the scene late Friday investigating.

Investigators are questioning a person of interest.

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