A huge explosion flattened an empty house, blew out the windows of neighbouring homes and sent shoes and bedding flying into nearby trees.

Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation.

The blast, which happened at 10.40am in Brentwood, Suffolk County, was most likely caused by a ruptured gas pipe, but investigators have not ruled out arson, according to the New York Post.

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© Paul Mazza
Rocked: Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation
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© Associated Press

The force of the explosion was strong enough to knock pictures off walls in houses blocks away.

'I was in bed and it felt like an earthquake. I thought a plane hit the house,' Mushin Kiryaman, a neighbour who lives across the street and was home with his wife and children, told the Post.

'All the shelves and windows in my house broke and collapsed. We were lucky we were sleeping or we would have been hurt badly.'

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© Paul Mazza
Force: The explosion blew out the windows of neighbouring homes and was strong enough to knock pictures off walls in houses blocks away
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© Paul Mazza
Damage: Neighbour Mushin Kiryaman said he had been in bed when the explosion happened and thought a plane had hit the house
Witnesses told the paper a flame shot into the sky after the blast and gas could be heard hissing.

Police apparently turned off all gas and electric services within a one-block radius, while they investigate the cause of the blast.

Land records show the house, worth around $327,600, was most recently owned by Heriberto and Donna Soto.

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© Paul Mazza
Debris: The blast sent shoes and bedding flying into nearby trees as timbre was scattered all over the ground
Neighbours and police sources told the Post the Sotos had left and transferred ownership to Millennium Homes.

Some 100 fire fighters from surrounding communities responded to the explosion.