BERNE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple tells NEWS10 ABC there were two confirmed fatalities Friday night after crews responded to a reported house explosion in the town of Berne.
The body of Victor Porlier, 83, was found Friday night. Investigators later located the body of Lois Porlier, 72, after search efforts resumed Saturday morning, according to police.
The explosion took place at 1470 Hilltop Lane. Heavy smoke could be seen from miles away. Neighbors told NEWS10 ABC they heard a loud explosion, and they could feel their homes rattle.
Upon arrival police say the home was completely engulfed in flames. Multiple fire departments responded and worked to put out the fire. New York State Office of Fire and Prevention Investigators were notified and are helping Sheriff’s Investigators.
A portion of 157 West is blocked off, and traffic is being redirected. Thacher Park is also closed.
In a tweet, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said the following:
Update – the house explosion is still under investigation. All operations have halted until sunrise. This is a confirmed fatality and one person is still missing. pic.twitter.com/1y3hqNxdQ6— Craig D Apple (@CraigDApplesr) June 5, 2021
On Wednesday, June 9 Sheriff Apple confirmed items and debris from the explosion have been sent to the lab to be analyzed.
The Albany County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation which remains ongoing.