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UPDATE: Victim, 48, In Ridgefield House Explosion Dies

Responders included PSE&G.
Responders included PSE&G. Photo Credit: Chris Szerkal for DAILY VOICE

UPDATE: A 48-year-old Ridgefield man who was burned on 80% of his body when an explosion leveled his Ridgefield home on Monday succumbed to his injuries, authorities said Tuesday.

Mark Schellack, who lived alone, was rescued from beneath the rubble of his garage by an off-duty police officer who lives nearby and two uniformed borough officers following the explosion on Abbott Avenue near Elizabeth Street just before 11:30 a.m. Monday.

He was first taken to Hackensack University Medical Center before being flown to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

Family members summoned a priest Monday night and were "praying for a miracle," one said.

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Arson Investigations Unit was trying to determine what caused the explosion, which completely demolished the house and hit neighboring buildings and vehicles with flying debris.

It took firefighters nearly 90 minutes to extinguish the blaze -- a task made easier once a PSE&G crew arrived and closed the gas line.

All area homes in a one-block radius were evacuated as a precaution.

A man who was watching the Ridgefield house for his father got out OK, neighbors said.

PHOTO by Cecilia Levine

Aerial view.

COURTESY: CBS2 News New York

Firefighters continued to battle the flames an hour later.

PHOTO by Chris Szerkal for DAILY VOICE

Responders from several towns rushed to the home at Abbott Avenue and Elizabeth Street in Ridgefield.

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