🔥 The cause of Thursday's explosion remains unknown

🔥 Four people were inside the house at the time

🔥 Police seek Ring and other home security footage

BUENA – Two bodies were removed from a house that exploded Thursday morning while two individuals remain missing.

A 1-year-old girl flown to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia Thursday morning was in critical condition while a 16-year-old teen girl is in stable condition at the same hospital.

Franklin Township Police Chief Matthew DeCesari said that four people — a 2-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl and two men ages 52 and 73 — were inside the house on the 300 block of Northwest Boulevard in the Landisville section of Buena at the time of the fire and explosion around 10:35 a.m.

Two bodies have been recovered while two victims remain missing as of early Friday morning. The chief said that he does not know their gender, race or age.

DeCesari during a briefing Thursday evening said the cause of the explosion during a fire at the house on Northwest Boulevard remains under investigation.

"At this point, we're going to treat it as a criminal investigation until we determine whether it's not or it is," DeCesari said.

Aftermath of a fire at a house on Northwest Boulevard in Buena 8/3/23
Aftermath of a fire at a house on Northwest Boulevard in Buena 8/3/23 (6 ABC Action News via YouTube)

Slow response time?

DeCesari would not comment on whether or not an explosive or fireworks were set off. Nothing has been ruled out as a cause of the explosion but he discounted natural gas playing a role.

He defended firefighters against allegations from residents that the response time was slow.

"I don't think that's factual at all. These firefighters risk their lives every day and they should be held heroes for what they do," DeCesari said.

Most neighbors returned to their homes. The American Red Cross New Jersey is assisting 16 people from three families whose homes were seriously damaged by the fire and were declared uninhabitable.

Map showing 300 block of Northwest Boulevard in Buena
Map showing 300 block of Northwest Boulevard in Buena (Google maps)

Help for the family

A verified GoFundMe page was created by Rosa Perez, a co-worker of a woman who lived at the house to help with funeral expenses.

"Anything and everything helps. We as a community of mothers and a community in general need to wrap this woman in prayer and help," Perez wrote on the page.

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