POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. — Another home near the New Jersey shore was completely destroyed in a natural gas explosion early Monday morning, severely injuring one man. The blast was the second time in less than a week that natural gas blew up a house in Ocean County, N.J.
Authorities said the explosion occurred in a small cottage on Crooks Lane in Point Pleasant Beach around 1:40 a.m. Neighbors told WPVI that the fiery blast rocked the neighborhood and completely “disintegrated” the cottage.
One witness told WPVI that “the guy living in the house got blown out the front door.” Neighbors found the man rolling around “on the ground screaming” from his injuries. Authorities estimated the man had burns covering 40 to 50 percent of his body.
The victim, identified as Kurt Wagner, a 47-year-old commercial fisherman, reportedly awoke to the smell of gas in the house and was preparing to address the problem. He got out of bed and turned on the bathroom light, apparently igniting the accumulation of natural gas in the house.
Emergency workers responding to the scene battled a raging fire that began consuming the wreckage after the explosion.
New Jersey Natural Gas has checked the main gas lines in the area but so far have discovered no leaks, prompting them to search for possible leaks inside the home.
On Tuesday of last week, a natural gas explosion completely leveled a house in Stafford, N.J., about 40 miles south of Point Pleasant Beach. A New Jersey Natural gas probe found that a crack in an underground gas main allowed gas to enter the water main and basement of the house.
Fifteen people were injured when that house exploded. Two utility workers were critically injured and remain in a New Jersey hospital.