Just Another Spring Gas Explosion: What Caused Deadly House Explosion I South River, N.J.? Officials Want Answers

Officials want answer?


Because he's a cop.

How many times does the media tell us that a house explosion was caused by gas?

What Caused Deadly House Explosion I South River, N.J.? Officials Want Answers

SOUTH RIVER, N.J. - A house explosion in South River, N.J. left one person dead and another critically injured Tuesday night. Investigators are trying to figure out what may have caused the explosion. Kevin Gilbert, a 62-year-old retired Newark police officer, was killed in the blast, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. The home was completely torn to pieces by the blast, and leveled. Rubble remains piled up, but there's nothing left of the house that once stood there. "That home looks like a bombing. It just looks unbelievable," one person said. Authorities arrived at the scene just after the 7 p.m. Thursday night. They said they located two people when they got there, including Gilbert. Another critically injured victim was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Gilbert was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said the injured person is a relative of Gilbert's, but not his son. Gilbert served with the Newark Police Department for nearly 26 years. "My father was a pillar of the community. An honored Newark detective, 9/11 first responder. As a grandfather he never missed a basketball game no matter how far. From movie quotes and trivia to infinite sports knowledge, he was a true renaissance man. Our family grieves the head of our family. He leaves us as a husband, son, Father, brother, grandfather, and mentor. The shock of this grief will remain in the hearts of many," his daughter Indirah Gilbert said. 

"There was a loud boom" Neighbors heard the explosion. "There was a loud boom. It shook the house. I live about a half mile away, over the hill over there, and it shook the house," one person said. "As I was coming down the stairs, it was a big bang, and it was like my house went like that. My first thought was this is an earthquake," area resident Jadin Singh said. "As I got closer to the house, I saw big smoke coming." The prosecutor's office hasn't said what caused the explosion, but people in the area told CBS New York's Christine Sloan the homes were built around the same time. A resident said the homes have one thing in common. "My house got hit with lightning 15 years ago, and the washers and dryers are on the second floor of these houses, and it punctured the gas line in my house," resident Barry Bril said. "We know the source came from behind the house, in the back of the house, in the far corner," South River Mayor Peter Guindi said. A few residents on the cul-de-sac have been foced to move out. Guindi said they live in homes next to the destroyed one. "They're not to be habited, due to the fact the structure is compromised," Guindi said. He added he doesn't know when those residents will be allowed to return to their homes. Source