Neighbors Tried to Save Woman Killed in Home Explosion: Police

By Danielle Johnson
|  Thursday, Aug 29, 2013  |  Updated 4:50 PM EDT
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New Jersey State Police Lt. Stephen Jones says a person reported a fire or explosion in the home on New Street in Hampton, N.J. just before 7 a.m. Wednesday. They are searching for a woman who is unaccounted for.

New Jersey State Police Lt. Stephen Jones says a person reported a fire or explosion in the home on New Street in Hampton, N.J. just before 7 a.m. Wednesday. They are searching for a woman who is unaccounted for.

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A woman died in an explosion at her Hunterdon County, New Jersey home and police say neighbors frantically tried to save her, but were not able to reach her in time.

Authorities received a call about a possible explosion at a home located at 74 New Street in Hampton Borough Wednesday morning. When police arrived part of the home collapsed and the unidentified woman was trapped inside.

Investigators say four people rushed to the burning residence after the woman called from her cell phone for help.

"It was reported that she was communicating with them as they attempted to rescue her,” said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III. "Their heroic acts, although unsuccessful, are a credit to these individuals and their community should be proud of them.”

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It took about an hour for fire crews to bring the blaze under control. Authorities found the woman’s body in the basement.

Another person was in the home at the time but was able to escape, according to investigators.

Fire officials said there was no natural gas line to the house, and the owner may have used a propane tank in the backyard. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

Houses on either side of the wrecked home were evacuated as a precaution. 

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