New York firefighters respond to building explosion and collapse

, Posted: Wed, March 12 2014 at 11:59 AM, Updated: Wed, March 12 2014 at 7:54 PM

New York firefighters respond to building explosion and collapse

New York, N.Y. -- (CNN) Firefighters are still on the scene of an explosion and the collapse of two buildings in New York City, where at least two people are confirmed dead and more than a dozen injured.

“It was just so loud, it woke me out of my sleep, that's how loud it was," said an eye witness.

A powerful explosion rocked Manhattan's East Harlem, blowing out windows. It happened on 116-th street and park avenue.

Neighbors called Con Edison - New York City's gas and electric company, saying they smelled gas shortly before the blast. Officials say a truck was dispatched within 2 minutes.  But, police say minutes later, the two commercial and residential buildings were simply gone, replaced by thick smoke and debris.

David Ortiz lives two blocks away, and felt the blast.

"From 117th to 112th, there was a vibration in the building. so the building shook at the time"

39 fire department units, 168-firefighters -- and the bomb squad -- responded to the scene of the deadly blast.

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