PISCATAWAY, NJ—Joe Keleman, a Piscataway resident and volunteer firefighter for Dunellen Fire Department, is currently facing treatment for multiple injuries after a gas explosion in his home.
The home is located at 85 Hopkinson Avenue, where the explosion shook the neighborhood around 4 a.m. on June 11, 2017.
The gas company for the area, PS&G, was contacted about the explosion.
In an emailed statement, the company said: "The investigation into the cause of the explosion… is still under way, and PSE&G is continuing to cooperate with the prosecutor’s office and other authorities."
The company shut the gas off at 6:25 a.m., according to the spokesperson for PS&G.
"Our personnel were on the scene throughout the day as authorities conducted an investigation into the case. Based on testing completed to date, there were no gas leaks detected in PSE&G’s gas piping that goes from the street to the gas meter," continued the spokesperson, adding that, "Customers are responsible for the piping inside their homes that provides gas to appliances."
Keleman was found badly burned on his lawn shortly after the explosion.
One neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, told New Brunswick Today that he was disappointed at the response time of the first responders who came to the scene.
Since the disaster, Keleman's family has decided to launch an online fundraising campaign to help pay for his medical care.
"His condition was immediately assessed as 'critical,' and it was determined he experienced deep Second-Degree burns on 28% of his body, and multiple lacerations on his face and head," reads the fundraising page, which notes Keleman has since been placed on a ventilator and remains in stable condition.
The online campaign is currently being run by Irene Fiorentino, Steven Keleman, and Anthony Fiorentino.
The campaign has raised nearly $8,000 towards a goal that is currently set at $50,000.