5 firefighters hurt in backdraft explosion
HARRISON, N.J. -- Authorities say five firefighters were injured while battling a five-alarm fire at a northern New Jersey building that extended to some adjoining buildings.
None of the injuries were considered life-threatening, but officials said one firefighter suffered extensive cuts when a backdraft caused an explosion that shattered a window.
Harrison Fire Department Capt. Robert Gillen told WCBS the force of the explosion, which was captured on video, knocked several firefighters out of the burning building.
"The smoke explosion threw them out of the building," he said.
The fire broke out Sunday morning in Harrison and burned for several hours before it was brought under control. It's not yet clear what sparked the blaze, which apparently started in a restaurant on the building's ground floor and spread toward a nearby apartment building. No civilian injuries were reported.
The fire sent heavy, black smoke spewing from the two-story building. It also spurred travel delays and forced organizers to re-route a St. Patrick's Day parade being staged nearby.