The buildings that exploded were both five stories tall and they both had collapsed down to the first floor, according to a senior FDNY official who spoke to NBC News reporter Tom Winter.
Amateur photographer at the scene Kliina1654 said "So far my building and people in it are OK. Thanks to God!"
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The French president has delivered posthumous awards in a national ceremony in Paris as the slain officer's partner appealed for peace.
One mother said she had travelled for hours to celebrate her daughter's 16th birthday, only to miss the gig completely.
The family of a former Royal Navy officer who was killed as thieves stole his car pay tribute to the 'wonderful husband, son, and brother'.