A house on Old Country Road in Water Mill caught fire and exploded sending debris across the street and high into nearby trees on Wednesday afternoon.
“The whole house shook and it felt like an airplane crashed into the roof,” Colleen Peterson, a neighbor across the street, said, noting that she heard the explosion a little after 2 p.m. “I thought something crashed into the house,” Peterson added, noting that upon investigation, she saw billowing smoke. She then called 911 to report the fire.
Witnesses said they saw smoke as they drove toward Water Mill. As they got closer, they heard an explosion.
A smaller “boom” could be heard around 2:30 p.m. as firefighters fought to extinguish the flames.
Two young men—covered in soot, bleeding and in torn clothes—were treated for injuries at the scene, but both were able to walk on their own. Southampton Town police said two victims were airlifted to the burn center at Stony Brook University Hospital.
A dumpster on the property was full of construction debris, indicating work was being done on the house recently.
Montauk Highway eastbound was closed in Water Mill.
Southampton Fire Department, Southampton Town Police, Southampton Volunteer Ambulance and National Grid were on scene.