Explosion in Valley Cottage leaves family homeless

A family is left homeless after an explosion in its house caused significant damages.

Carlos Marquez and his two sons were sleeping upstairs when the explosion occurred just after 9 a.m. Sunday. They managed to escape without injuries.

Marquez believes the explosion was caused by a broken boiler in the basement.

Windows were knocked off their frames, siding fell from the walls and the garage door was blown from its hinges. Marquez said it broke his heart to take pictures for his insurance company.

?I just finished the siding, windows, all the renovations,? he said. ?Now I have to start all over again.?

Richard Brown, a neighbor of Marquez, called 911 and rushed to assist the family after he felt the explosion next door.

?It shook the house,? Brown said. ?It shook so hard and moved everything.?

Firefighters pulled damaged items out of the basement while they examined the cause of the blast. Con Edison was also at the house checking for a gas leak. Investigators said they still have not found a cause.

Asst. Chief Jeff Sherman of the Valley Cottage Fire Department said a larger problem is the possibility of the house collapsing. He said they are taking extra precautions to make sure the house is stable.

An inspector from the town of Clarkstown Building Department has condemned the house until sufficient repairs can be made. The Marquez family will be staying with relatives nearby until their house is ready.

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