A 47-year-old man suffered serious burns in an early Monday morning house explosion and fire in Point Beach, authorities say.
Police, fire, and emergency medical units were dispatched to 307 Cooks Lane in Point Beach at 1:40 a.m. on a report of a structure fire, said Jerry Meaney of the Point Pleasant First Aid Squad & Emergency Squad.
Upon arrival, authorities found a burn victim outside the structure alert and conscious with injuries to about 40 to 50 percent of his body, according to a release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The entire house ignited in flames after the man went to the bathroom and turned on the light switch, the release said.
The victim was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and subsequently transferred to Saint Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston. He is currently listed in stable condition.
Firefighters from Point Pleasant Borough, Bay Head, Mantoloking, Brick, and Brielle along with Point Boro First Aid Squad were called in to assist the Point Beach fire departments and First Aid Squad. New Jersey Natural Gas responded and secured the gas meter.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshall and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department CSI responded to conduct the investigation into the origin and cause of the leak leading to the explosion.
New Jersey Natural Gas offers the following advice on how to react when you smell gas:
Since natural gas has no scent, a strong odorant that smells like rotten eggs is added to help you detect possible leaks.
If you smell natural gas:
Remove any cigarettes or other smoking materials from the area, and then extinguish them.
Do NOT use matches, lighters or other open flames or activate light switches, electrical appliances, flashlights, doorbells or even garage door openers, as they could create a spark
Do NOT use telephones (cellular included) on the premises where the leak is suspected. Phones can create a spark.
Evacuate everyone from the building immediately and then call NJNG from a safe location at 800-GAS-LEAK (800-427-5325). Let us know where you are.
Do not re-enter the building until NJNG has declared it to be safe.
NJNG promptly investigates suspected natural gas leaks as a free service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, visit www.njng.com.