The former owner of a Long Island house that exploded into pieces on Sunday - as well as nearby neighbors - were calling their survival an Easter miracle.
The explosion leveled the vacant house on Fourth St. in Brentwood about 10:40 a.m., sending debris raining down on neighboring houses and injuring 21 people, officials and neighbors said.
Donna Soto sold the doomed house 2-1/2 months ago after living there 16 years.
"In the last three months, I've had a granddaughter, another granddaughter and a grandson," Soto said, wiping away tears. "Thank God we sold that house, or they all would have been in that house today - all those babies."
Cynthia Lombardi said she was thankful to have been sick in bed on Easter morning - not watching TV in her living room.
"Their garage door came through my front living room window," said Lombardi, whose father-in-law was hospitalized with heart trouble after debris smashed into his bedroom. "My house is destroyed."
Soto said she sold the home to a real estate company, which has been renovating it in hopes of a resale. A "For Sale" sign still stood on the lawn, even as the home it advertised was obliterated.
The 21 injured neighbors were all hurt by airborne debris - but miraculously, no one suffered life-threatening injuries, officials said.
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