NJ house explodes as man steals copper, lights cigarette, witnesses say
NEWARK — The theft of copper may have led to the explosion of an abandoned house on Sunday.
Witnesses told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that they were playing softball and stopped a man running out of the home on South Devine Street around 5:30 p.m. after the explosion, and turned him over to police when they arrived.
PSE&G confirmed to NBC 4 New York there had been a gas leak at the home near Vailsburg Park.
A picture posted by RLS Metro Breaking News showed police taking a man away in handcuffs, but police said he was not being held in connection with the explosion.
Witnesses told ABC 7 the man lit up a cigarette as he looked for copper scraps in the home when the house exploded, leveling half of it and leaving the other half badly damaged.
NBC 4 New York reported some surrounding homes sustained minor damage.
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