A battalion chief of the Fire Department of New York City was killed at a home in the Bronx after an explosion occurred from a drug lab that was set up there. Reportedly, there was a 911 call made to police about a gas leak within the vicinity of the home. When police officers and firefighters arrived at the scene, the home exploded and sent flying debris into the air which ended up killing the battalion chief. In addition, a Con Edison worker, 7 police officers, and another firefighter were injured from the flying debris of the explosion as well.
The blast caused the entire roof of the home to collapse and it sent lots of smoke into the air throughout the neighborhood. Over 100 firefighters ended up responding to the explosion after the devastation it caused. It was an emotional scene for the FDNY because they lost one of their own. This was actually the first firefighter in New York City to die in the line-of-duty within the last two years. The last firefighter death was in July of 2014 after there was a fire at a high-rise in Brooklyn and Lieutenant Gordon Matthew Ambelas was killed trying to stop the fire there.
The owner of the Bronx home, Onesimo Guerrero, claims he did not know anyone was living there and that he had no idea there was a drug lab in the home. Guerrero called it a “starter house,” which may imply that it was an investment property that was supposed to be vacant. But it is not too uncommon for drug dealers or drug manufacturers to take over a vacant home and turn it into their own personal drug laboratory. After all, if the owner doesn’t visit the property often then it is easy for these illegal drug manufacturers to take over other people’s property without their permission.