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Sources: Bug Foggers May Have Caused Explosion, Partial Collapse At Chinatown Building

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TWC News: Sources: Bug Foggers May Have Caused Explosion, Partial Collapse At Chinatown Building
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Sources say a common pest control tool could be to blame for a fiery explosion and partial collapse of a building in Chinatown.

Sources tell NY1 that fire officials are looking into the fact that several bug foggers, commonly known as "roach bombs," were found at the site of the Pike Street building.

The incident happened shortly before 1 p.m. inside a beauty shop located at 17 Pike Street near the Manhattan Bridge.

Officials said the explosion occurred in the first-floor beauty parlor, with fire and smoke spreading to the apartments on the floors above.

"We had a fire and an explosion on the first floor of a five-story old law tenement," said FDNY Assistant Chief Robert Boyce. "We had a minimum collapse, but heavy fire, on the first floor, with extension to the second and third floor."

The fire department said at least eight civilians were being treated for injuries, three of which are said to be serious.

Four firefighters were also injured.

All were taken to area hospitals.

Witnesses described a scene of chaos and confusion.

"There was a big boom, and it was really loud, and I heard somebody said there was a big ball of fire. I didn't see it myself," said one witness. "But by the time I came out of my building and came out to see, it was a big chaos out here."

"It rumbled. It rumbled," said another. "I was asleep, and I felt the rumbling in my bed. It woke me up. And then, when I looked out the window, you see people just telling you to get out. But when I got to the hallway, I noticed the smoke."

All tenants have been evacuated as a precaution.

The Red Cross said it's working to help those forced from their homes.

Fire officials said the building had several violations on record.

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