One Dead in Brooklyn Building Explosion

A three-story building exploded in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn on October 3. Juan Varela

Updated | At least one person has died and three more people are injured after a three-story building exploded Saturday in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) said.

An FDNY spokesman said the call came in at 1:05 p.m. Saturday. The explosion appears to have been gas-related, he said.

The site of the explosion is 4206 13th Avenue. A small appliances business called Potts N' Watts is located on the ground floor. The business did not appear open Saturday and no one answered the phone at a number listed for the business.

The FDNY spokesman said the three injuries were non-life-threatening and that it was unclear whether the fire would affect surrounding buildings. He said about 25 fire units and 106 personnel initially responded. "There is some collapse," he added.

Previous fires in the heavily Jewish part of Brooklyn, especially on Saturdays, have been linked to hot plates, which residents there leave on for long periods of time so they can use them without flipping switches during the Sabbath. In March, seven children died when a hot plate sparked.

Public records show that "a major gas explosion and possible collapse" was reported by someone named Terry Sussman minutes after the FDNY received its call. An LLC affiliated with the building is registered under the name of Sussman, who was not immediately available for comment.

All the stores surrounding Potts N' Watts were closed Saturday, likely for the Sabbath. Those businesses include a hat shop, a luggage store and an orthodontist.

"We responded to the incident, we're working under the direction of the FDNY to make the situation safe," a National Grid spokeswoman tells Newsweek. She said she could not confirm that the incident was gas-related, and that the investigation was ongoing. On Twitter, National Grid said it had shut off gas to the affected area.

In a statement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo connected the incident to recent major gas explosions in Harlem and the East Village. "This explosion is the latest in a disturbing trend of incidents," he said. "In light of this, I am directing the State Department of Public Service to undertake an investigation into the cause of this incident. That investigation is ongoing, and updates will be provided to the public as soon as they are available."

Mayor @BilldeBlasio and @fdny are on site of today's building explosion in Borough Park. More updates to come.

— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) October 3, 2015

During a press conference with Mayor Bill De Blasio shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, fire officials said the person who died was inside the building and had not yet been identified. The three people who were injured had been walking on the sidewalk outside the building. Those people were two men, ages 33 and 27, and one of their sons, 10. The officials said a tenant was changing a stove, which could have caused the fire. They said there had been no reports of an odor of gas, and that the fire was "under control."

This article has been updated to include additional information on the developing incident.