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Massive N.J. house explosion shakes city. "The scope is simply unbelievable"



Hardyston's mayor, Carl Miller, thought it should be a military one, when a powerful bang blasted her again on Tuesday night.

"My first thought is that we are not so far from Picatinny Arsenal, and sometimes they are testing, but what could they try late at night?" Miller said that in the morning after the bang 8 miles from where he lived, he equalized an unoccupied house on the Grumm Road in the northern part of Sussex.

Miller said that everyone he talked about in the city of Sussex spoke the same thing.

"People are in shock," the mayor said. "It's crazy what will happen – not only for this city, but also for any city. I've been here since 1985, and I do not remember anything remotely, as it happens."

According to Police Chief Bret Alem, the explosion can be heard not only in the 32-mile-city population, but also in neighboring municipalities and as far away as the Morris and Passage areas.

Nobody was at home when a six-year-old house exploded around noon. 11:05, although the explosion was so strong that both the neighboring country and Wallkill Valley Regional High School, which crossed the street, suffered losses.

"The scope is simply unbelievable, the house is completely destroyed," said Alemiah.

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The pair of semi-filled propane tanks are in the "focus" area of ​​the investigation, but it still needs to be determined if it caused an explosion, said Greg Mueller, the first assistant prosecutor in Sussex. One was 30 percent full, while the other 20 percent, added Mueller.

The facade of the high school, windows and doors were damaged and will be closed "until further assessments are made," said Alemiah. On Wednesday afternoon, Mueller said the school would be closed on Thursday.

The main recognized rubble from the house went hundreds of feet to the football field behind the school.

The police arrived a few minutes after calling 911, but the house had already gone.

"Thank God that there was no human being inside," said Miller. "I do not see how anyone could survive it."

The household owner had driven several days before the bang, said Mueller.

Dave Hook, the main builder of the house, said he met the insurance company when he reached the phone on Wednesday and could not comment.

The State Police Bombs and the Sussex County Public Prosecutor's Office are part of the investigation with the Hardystron Police.

Wallkill Valley's leader, David Carr, could not immediately comment.

Jeff Goldman can be reached by jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on twitter @JeffSGoldman. To find NJ.com on Facebook.


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