Stunning Vid Shows Explosion That Rocked NJ, ‘Literally’ Threw Firefighters Out of a Burning Building

Firefighters battle a multialarm fire at an industrial building in Harrison, N.J. , Sunday, March 10, 2013. (Photo: AP)

Video of an explosion that injured five firefighters in New Jersey has surfaced, showing emergency responders tackling an existing fire when an ominous cloud of smoke suddenly becomes a massive explosion.

“They were literally thrown out of the building by the smoke explosion,” Harrison Fire Capt. Robert Gille said of his team.

The flames, which reportedly began at a Mexican restaurant, quickly spread to a nearby apartment building and the Church Dios Luz and Vida sometime after 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

The five-alarm fire sent up a smoke cloud that could be seen for miles, forcing travel delays and even the re-routing of a local St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Here’s cell phone video of the relatively controllable fire suddenly exploding into the street:

“I heard a noise and I saw smoke going up into the air,” eyewitness Donna Padovano told MyFoxNY. “It was very scary, there were flames coming from every single window.”

Authorities say five firefighters were injured, and six people are temporarily homeless as a result.

No civilian casualties were reported, however, and none of the injuries are considered life-threatening.  One firefighter, though, suffered extensive cuts when the backdraft caused an explosion that shattered a nearby window.

A woman who was at the now-devastated Church Dios Luz and Vida simply commented: “We’re thankful overall God got all of us out…and the materials can be replaced.”

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

CBS2 News has more on the story: