Gas leak causes fire in Brownsville high rise

BROWNSVILLE - Fire officials say a gas leak triggered a fire in Brownsville Wednesday, destroying apartments in the Van Dyke housing complex and injuring five people.

Many tenants were inconvenienced for hours as firefighters worked to contain the blaze that ripped through 393 Dumont Ave. According to Deputy Chief Jay Jonas, a gas emergency caused an explosion in one of the apartments, which started the fire.

Witnesses say the explosion was so strong that windows were blown out across the street. At least five people were injured and taken to the hospital, some with burns.

At least three families were displaced as a result of the fire, but the New York City Housing Authority is working to relocate them to vacant apartments within the Van Dyke houses.

Officials say power was cut for dozens of apartments in the aftermath of the fire and will remain off until housing officials can secure the scene.

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