Gasoline Used as Paint Thinner Sparked Explosion that Destroyed Brooklyn Home

NY Daily News - October 02, 2019

by JOHN ANNESE and THOMAS TRACY

The explosion that destroyed a Brooklyn home undergoing renovations and left three people hospitalized was sparked by gasoline that a worker was using as a paint thinner, officials said Tuesday. The worker told police and FDNY fire marshals that he was pouring the gasoline in the basement of the Friel Place home near Coney Island Ave. in Kensington Monday afternoon when the explosion happened and a small fire started.

The man was also using gas to clean up paint, a source said. “The cause of Monday’s fire at 820 Friel Place in Brooklyn was accidental, caused by improper use of gasoline,” an FDNY spokesman said in a statement.

The two-story home was vacant when the explosion rocked the entire block.

Three men working on the home suffered burns to their hands, legs and faces, and were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. A fourth victim was treated at the scene.

The destroyed home was deemed unsafe and is set to be demolished, officials said.