Woman sets off 24 bug bombs at once, creating massive fire cloud and causing the partial collapse of Manhattan building
- A woman let off 24 bug bombs at once in a Manhattan building
- A pilot light ignited the cloud of highly flammable insecticide
- The cloud became a fireball that blasted through the Chinatown building
- The fire caused a roof collapse and extensive damage of the first three floors
- 15 people were injured, including four firefighters
PUBLISHED: 13 July 2013
An explosion inside a New York Chinatown building caused by a woman who set off 24 bug bombs at once led to a fire and the partial collapse of the building.
According to firefighters, the woman had let off 20 canisters of bug bombs on Wednesday and on Thursday deployed two dozen more – only this time she forgot to turn off an oven’s pilot light.
The flame ignited the huge cloud of flammable insecticide causing a fire that ripped through the building and injured a 15 people, including four firefighters.
Disaster: Water sprays out through a window as firefighters get the fire in the stricken building under control
The five-storey building was already under investigation for as a fire hazard.
Resident Jinjoo Yang, who lives next door, said, ‘I heard a big sound. It sounded like something big fell from the next floor. I felt the whole floor shaking.’
Hazard: Firefighters remove debris from the back of the building in the aftermath of the fire on Thursday
She said gray smoke that smelt like gas had seeped into her apartment.
Three of those injured were hospitalized in serious condition. Injuries to the other people, including the four firefighters, were less severe and included burns.
One unconscious victim had to be taken out of a third-floor window, and according to the New York Daily News, one brave firefighter was administering oxygen to the victim before they’d even reached the ground.
The New York Daily News reported that the insecticide fire originated in the rear of the first-floor at 17 Pike St, inside the Piao Liang Ren Scheng Beauty Salon, causing the fire and a minor ceiling collapse.
Bug bomb blunder: Cockroaches are a New York problem, but one woman’s attempt to bomb them to oblivion nearly ended in tragedy Thursday
The fire begun about 12:45pm and was under control within an hour.
Xia Jing Mei, 40, who lives on the top floor of the run-down building told the New York Daily News that she and her aunt barely made it out alive, almost being engulfed in flames as they fled their apartment.
The American Red Cross said it provided emergency housing for 28 adults and three children left homeless after a vacate order was issued for the building.
Bug bombs are also known as foggers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new warning labels last year reminding people to not use more than one in a room at a time and to turn off all electronic appliances and pilot lights because the pesticides are highly flammable. They cause about 500 explosions annually nationwide.
It’s not known exactly how many cockroaches were plaguing the woman to prompt her to set off so many.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362743/Woman-causes-building-collapse-bug-bomb-blast-setting-24-bombs-once.html#ixzz2Yxy6hVJl
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook