Police and firefighters were called to 151 Adams Place in Delmar a little before noon today. They said the homeowner reported an explosion, and that her son was burned.
For hours the home burned to the ground. Neighbors watched it grow from flames in the back corner of the basement to a fully engulfed ball of fire. Witnesses described hearing three explosions.
"It was quite loud and it shook my house," said John Defino, a neighbor.
"It appears one of the residents was doing some work down in the basement when there was an explosion," said Lt. Thomas Heffernan Jr., with the Bethlehem Police Department.
Police are now saying that person was the home owner's teenage son. He was sent to Albany Med and then transported to the Westchester Medical Center Burn Unit.
"Severe burns, I don't have exactly where but it's a good portion of his body," said Heffernan.
What caused those explosions is still not known tonight. That uncertainty forced extra precautions today.
"Once there is one explosion, we don't know if there will be more, so we like to take a step back and as you can see we give up one structure and save the surroundings," said Delmar Fire Chief Greg Gould.
Surrounding homes were evacuated and Hazmat crews were called in to decontaminate gear. Still, police said that two Bethlehem Police Officers and two County EMTs were treated for possibly being exposed to an unknown chemical.
The house has been completely destroyed, which is making it hard for investigators to determine exactly what started the fire. They hope to learn more after they speak with the victim and the victim's family.