A teenage boy was severely burned, four emergency response officials were hospitalized for chemical exposure and houses near 151 Adams Place were evacuated Saturday morning after the home exploded and burned.
The Bethlehem Police Department received a call from the homeowner at approximately 11:45 a.m. reporting an explosion that had badly burned her teenage son.
Police officers arrived first and discovered heavy smoke coming out of the house and heard two explosions coming from the basement. The officers entered the house and pulled the boy from the building. He had suffered what police called “substantial burns’ to his body. A photographer on scene said the boy lost a hand, but that was not confirmed officially.
The Delmar Fire Department and Delmar Rescue Squad responded and immediately requested assistance from other fire departments and the Albany County Hazardous Materials Team. Officials said they barricaded the street and evacuated houses near 151 Adams Place because of the explosions and intensity of the fire.
The youth was transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital where he was treated for burns before being taken to the Westchester Medical Center burn unit. The two Bethlehem Police officers who rescued the boy and two Albany County Emergency Medical Technicians were also treated at Albany Medical Center for possible exposure to an unknown chemical.
A preliminary investigation determined the youth was in the basement working when the first explosion occurred.
Investigation into the cause and origin of the fire was ongoing Saturday as members of the Bethlehem Police Department’s Fire Investigative Unit remained at the scene, assisted by members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Delmar Fire Department.
The streets surrounding the fire had been reopened by Saturday evening and residents were allowed to return to their homes.
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