House fire blamed on minivan explosion

A family in Valley Cottage is homeless after a massive fire turned their house into charred rubble. The devastating blaze ignited Monday night at a home on Quaspeck Boulevard at around 7:45 p.m. Everyone

News 12 Staff

Nov 12, 2014, 3:37 AM

Updated 3,542 days ago

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A family in Valley Cottage is homeless after a massive fire turned their house into charred rubble.
The devastating blaze ignited Monday night at a home on Quaspeck Boulevard at around 7:45 p.m. Everyone was able to get out of the house safely.
People in the area said they heard an explosion, then saw the fast-moving fire. "There was a car in the house burning and that side of the house started to burn, and then boom, 30 seconds later, the whole thing was engulfed," says neighbor Steve Reilly.
Fire investigators now say it was an idling car that sparked the blast. They say the homeowner was having trouble with his 1999 Town and Country minivan. He pulled it halfway into the garage and left it running when he went into the house to make a phone call. "Within a couple of minutes the car exploded. It appears that the car exploded but the house certainly exploded," says Valley Cottage Fire Chief Howard Gerber.
The heat from the fire was so intense that it melted the siding on a neighboring house. Dozens of firefighters from several departments worked the scene for several hours, which was made more difficult because of issues with water. "We had a little bit of problem getting water to this location; low water pressure, but as soon as we had water we were able to put it out relatively quickly," says Gerber.


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