Gas Suspected in New York City House Collapse

May 31, 2013

Authorities are investigating whether recent work on a furnace and water heater caused a fire and partial collapse at a home in an area of Queens, N.Y., damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The Wall Street Journal says city buildings department records show the house had been approved for a permit for a new gas furnace and water heater last week. It wasn’t clear if the work had started.

It was approved under the city’s Rapid Repairs program, which helped rehabilitate homes damaged by Sandy.

A spokesman for the program didn’t immediately respond to messaged seeking comment.

The buildings department says it’s investigating the cause along with the fire department.

Firefighters at the scene in Howard Beach placed the flames under control around 3 p.m. Wednesday. A woman was hospitalized with burns.

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