NJ man dies after crawling out of rubble of exploded house
RIDGEFIELD — The man rescued from a house that exploded on Monday morning has died.
Mark Schellack, 48, died early Tuesday from his injuries at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, prosecutor said.
Investigators say the source of the explosion was natural gas but they do not yet know what sparked the explosion.
Nothing was left of the two-story house on Abbot Avenue. The explosion sent debris into neighboring properties, which also were damaged by the blast.
Police Chief Thomas Gallagher credited off-duty police Officer Hagop Cigercioglu with hearing Schellack who was buried under a pile of wood.
Cigercioglu said he called out to Schellack, who gave his name. Other officers helped move away the wood and clear a path for Schellack to crawl out.
"Yesterday was a sad day in Ridgefied but our emergency services are to be commended for their work so I would like to thank our Police, Fire, Ambulance, and OEM for all the work they did as well as the mutual aid towns and County Executive James Tedesco along with the county services that came in to assist," Suarez wrote on his Facebook page. "Lastly I want to thank Hagop Cigercioglu from our PD whose actions typify the character of our Police Officers."
One firefighter and two police officers suffered minor injuries fighting the blaze. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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