911 calls released from fatal Ewing gas explosion, fire

Calls from the scene of last week's fatal house explosion in Ewing reveal a sense of panic and confusion. (3/10/14)

EWING - Calls from the scene of last week's fatal house explosion in Ewing reveal a sense of panic and confusion.

Many had no idea what was going on at the condo complex while others had a front row seat.

"There was a big explosion and there's heavy smoke and open flames on one side of my street," said one resident.

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The calls came in as homeowners near the South Fork development tried to figure out what was happening last Tuesday after a PSE&G gas line exploded.

Others called from across the street and nearby businesses. "I'm in front of South Fork on Scenic Drive and a house just literally blew up," reported another caller.

Most remained calm as they described what they were seeing. "Gas company was out here and I guess the line, something, blew up and now the house is on fire."

The explosion was so powerful it collapsed multiple homes and spread debris across the complex.

The body of Linda Cerritelli, who owned the house where contractors had been working when they struck the gas line, was found on top of a car. Seven utility workers were injured.

More than 15 homes were destroyed, and nearly 50 were damaged by the explosion and fire that followed.

One of the calls came from a disabled woman whose roof partially collapsed in the blast.

Everyone was eventually evacuated from the complex. 

 

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