Police & Fire

Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Piscataway Home; Resident Survives with 2nd Degree Burns

02a403669fd3ec076840_IMG_1654.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Piscataway Home; Resident Survives with 2nd Degree Burns Credits: New Market Fire Department
f32e1b550240c45621a5_IMG_1655.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Piscataway Home; Resident Survives with 2nd Degree Burns Credits: New Market Fire Department
0dc1c444b9302314fe55_IMG_1618.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
7e7247617e541b0510a0_IMG_1653.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
c3b8e6facd71f3c8b9a3_IMG_1627.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
f8c8a7736c438bc1dd20_IMG_1596.JPG
Mayor Brian Wahler debriefs reporters on house explosion investigation Credits: Kenneth Simmons
5368b8446d9e4aca1a2d_IMG_1608.JPG
Pastor Roy Carroll of the Living Hope Outreach Center (right) Credits: Kenneth Simmons
bb5353d5a7d774612b1a_IMG_1638.JPG
A police officer interviews neighbors about the explosion Credits: Kenneth Simmons
3a8b057faa13b8781ec4_IMG_1629.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
4fdcc0bf80b8e77e987c_IMG_1631.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
fc5e37076b4037223dd9_IMG_1637.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
08505b3cf927f15fcadb_IMG_1639.JPG
Credits: Kenneth Simmons
83ced87a8d9816b1dd47_IMG_1642.JPG
Credits: Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway
71ad8395712f848714d1_IMG_1651.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
2d1372e68e2bc5da71f8_IMG_1652.JPG
Pre-Dawn Explosion Levels Home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Ave in Piscataway Credits: Kenneth Simmons
02a403669fd3ec076840_IMG_1654.JPG

PISCATAWAY, NJ -- A Piscataway man is lucky to be alive after an apparent gas explosion and fire leveled his home at the corner of Stelton Road and Hopkinson Avenue early Sunday morning. 

The explosion, which was first reported by neighbors at about 4:00 a.m., apparently blew the resident into the street where he was found by Piscataway Police who first responded to the scene, said Mayor Brian Wahler.

The man, who is in his early 50s was the only occupant at the time and was transported to St. Barnabas Medical Center for treatment of 2nd degree burns and other injuries. 

Sign Up for E-News

His name is being withheld pending notification of his family. 

"The force of the blast completely leveled the home which was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters arrived on scene," Wahler said, describing how parts of the house flew into other, surrounding homes, causing fire damage to them as well. 

He added that due to the large debris field, "We'll have the building inspectors out here checking the surrounding houses for damage. However, PSEG investigated and determined the system was not compromised."

While the official cause has yet to be determined, Wahler said because of the size and magnitude of the explosion, and that the house was literally blown off of its foundation leads investigators to believe this was a gas explosion. 

Units from the New Jersey State Police used a drone to help determine the extent and size of the blast, a critical part in the investigation, said Wahler.

Neighbors reported hearing two loud bangs and several smaller popping sounds in the early morning, pre-dawn hour, waking many from their sleep as their homes shook. One woman road her bike over from the Pleasantview Gardens complex on Carlton Ave., saying she heard and felt the impact from that far away.

Janice, a Hopkinson Avenue neighbor who lives four doors away from the scene said she thought she was hearing fireworks go off when she was awakened to the sounds of a loud bang and several smaller popping noises. "It woke me up from a sound sleep, I thought I was dreaming," she said. "I saw hot ashes hit the roof and then I heard little 'pop, pop, pop' noises here and there."

"It sounded like a bomb went off,"  agreed her sister, Gayle who was visiting from Florida.

"Everybody within a 12-block radius called headquarters," said Mayor Wahler noting how the situation could have been a lot worse if it had happened while people were commuting to work and school along Stelton Road. "The explosion was so massive, that windows were shattered in other buildings, picture frames were knocked off of people's (walls), they felt like it was a mini earthquake."

Pastor Roy Carroll of the Living Hope Outreach Center, located across the street on Stelton Road was getting ready for Sunday services when he first heard of the explosion from reading a Facebook post. He drove to the church to investigate for himself.

"I was shocked that this has happened in the community and am saddened for the family that has been affected by this disaster," said the former postal worker, noting how it was a familiar address because he used to deliver mail along that route. "We pray that everything works out well."

The Stelton Road area between Tabb and Woodrow Avenues will remain closed for the rest of Sunday while the investigation and cleanup continue.

TAPintoPiscataway.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Piscataway. Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @PiscatawayTAP.

Businesses: Advertise with TAPinto Piscataway. Click here for more information.

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Somerset: Act Now to Save 15 Percent Off Pulse Summer Sports Camps

May 20, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Pulse Premier Sports Camps offer an innovative approach to sports education. Curriculums are designed for young athletes of all skill levels who have a passion for sports and demand more during key influential years.

Starting in June Pulse will be running their Premier Soccer & Multi Sports Camps at Rutgers Prep, TAP here for details.

Act now and you can save 15 ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

May 21, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Three Bloomfield Teens Are Missing, Police Seek Community Assistance to Locate Them (FOUND)

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Bloomfield Department of Public Safety Director Samuel DeMaio confirmed that three missing teenagers have been found safe at a McDonald's restaurant in Pennsylvania.

Original article:

The Bloomfield Police Department is asking for the public's assistance to locate three teenagers who went missing this week. One of the parents reports that a large sum of money is ...

Police Investigate Rabbit "Tale"

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Local cops are investigating an incident of ‘theft by deception’ involving the Plainfield Animal Hospital. 

According to the incident report filed by Officer Justin Melanson and obtained by TAPinto, residents of South Plainfield took their pet rabbit to the Park Avenue animal hospital on April 4 to be euthanized due to advanced ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

May 21, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

May 17, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

Franklin Township: Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be formidable opponents, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Somerville Honors' Student Speaks at RVCC Graduation; 1,300 Receive Degrees

BRANCHBURG, NJ - Raritan Valley Community College awarded associate degrees and certificates to more than 1,300 graduates at its commencement, Saturday, May 12, including Somerville resident Barbara Kania, an Honors College student who introduced commencement speaker Judge Paul W. Armstrong.

Kania is a Pre-Medical Professional major who is the founder and president of RVCC’s Pre-Medicine ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

May 17, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

Franklin Township: Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be formidable opponents, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!