HEMPSTEAD - A house exploded on Perry Street in Hempstead this afternoon, launching debris up to 75 feet away and leaving neighbors in utter shock.

Authorities say the residence at 180 Perry St. blew up at around 2:45 p.m. They say it was vacant at the time and is currently in foreclosure, adding that they extensively searched the wreckage using cameras and by actually going inside.

Neighbors say they smelled gas before the blast. They also say they feared the worst since there are two day care facilities on the same street.

Firefighters say two people have been hospitalized for minor injuries, but are expected to be fine.

Officials with National Grid say they conducted a test of the gas line and found that the gas service wasn’t responsible for the explosion. The cause remains under investigation.

For extended Chopper 12 footage over the Hempstead house explosion, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.