Jersey City, NJ – MyFoxNY reports the following: A gas leak on Palisade Avenue in Jersey City is believed to have been intentionally started. Jersey City fire officials said they found a gasoline can with an ignition device wired into it on Monday morning at 451 Palisade Avenue.
The three-story building near Griffith Street was emitting a heavy gas odor at around 6 a.m. Several apartment buildings were evacuated shortly after.
Palisade Avenue was closed in both directions through the area while PSE&G crews shut off the gas line. Bomb squad members and arson investigators were called to the scene.
NJ.com reports the following:
A 6 a.m. call about a potential gas leak to led to a major response by police and firefighters to a three-story building and the discovery of a gasoline can with an ignition device wired into it, this morning.
Officials arrived at 451 Palisade Avenue near Griffith Street to the report of gas fumes in a building. Firefighters found the source and PSE&G shut off the gas in the building, officials said.
Then officials found a gasoline can with an ignition device wired into it, causing Jersey City police to block off numerous roads and evacuate an entire city block, officials said.
JCPD’s Emergency Medical Service’s Bomb Squad is investigating the scene as crowds are gathered at the corners looking on.
UPDATE FROM WCBSTV 5:00PM EST:
Authorities have two people in custody for questioning in connection with the homemade bomb scare that brought a swarm of police officers to a Jersey City pizza restaurant on Monday morning.
The massive response took place at 451 Palisade Avenue after a two-gallon tank of gasoline was found wired to an electrical panel and the door of a building. Investigators said the intention was to blow up the building and that opening the door would have set it off.
“If the electric was on and if the gas was on as been reported to us, it would have been a major explosion,” said Jersey City Police Peter Nalbach.
Police said the discovery was made by the owner of the building, who arrived at the building Monday, smelled gas in the pizza parlor below and turned it off.
More than 40 people had to be evacuated, including neighbor Yancy Pena.
“It was really scary. It’s scary because the kids are out here all the time, so it’s really frightening but we’re here. We have to do it,” she said.