BRIDGEPORT - Firefighters narrowly escaped an airborne propane tank when they responded to a fire that has displaced about a dozen people in Bridgeport.

Firefighters responded to the fire at the Grove Street house near Laurel Avenue at around 9 p.m. Monday. They had been setting up their fire hoses and were about 20 feet away when a propane tank attached to a grill exploded. They say if they had gotten there about five seconds sooner, someone could have been killed.

"My backyard just lit up," says neighbor Garrett Jones, who described the explosion as a loud "boom." "I thought we were being attacked."

A piece of the propane tank was lodged in a tree; bits of shrapnel from the tank were also lodged in the tree.

The fire badly damaged the multifamily home; about 12 residents are displaced. No residents or firefighters were injured.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire. They also say it is unusual that the propane tank exploded the way that it did, adding that the valve may have been faulty.