NORTH HAVEN, Conn. -- A fiery explosion rocked a Connecticut town while police were negotiating with a man who had taken his wife hostage, leaving up to eight officers injured, officials said. The officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blast at a barn behind the couple's North Haven home Wednesday night.
Deputy Police Chief Jonathan Mulhern would not comment when asked early Thursday if the suspect was in custody.
"This is still an active, ongoing scene," he said. "This is not a stable scene at this point."
First Selectman Michael Freda said the wife escaped before the explosion.
CBS Hartford, Connecticut affiliate WFSB-TV reports the incident began around 2 p.m. Tuesday when a female victim entered North Haven Police headquarters complaining of an incident at the home.
She said she had escaped from the home after being held hostage by her husband for 3 days.
The explosion was inside a barn near the home the couple was barricaded in.
Sources confirmed to WFSB that the man was still in the home while the fire was burning in the barn.
Police were heard continuing to try to coax the man out even after the explosion.
"It's quite surprising," Freda said. "This is a quiet residential neighborhood. It's been a very emotional scene."
There was no word on what caused the explosion.
The blaze was still burning early Thursday, said fire officials, adding that power was out to the area and a local firehouse had been set up as a "refuge" for affected residents.
Neighbors were told to stay in their homes with their lights off. Police asked people to avoid the area.
Residents near the home said on the police department's Facebook page that they heard the explosion and felt their own homes shake. Additional police rushed to the scene as the fire raged, and sounds of smaller explosions also were heard.
North Haven resident Joan Mazurek, 76, a retired accountant, heard what she thought was a train at her home about a mile away from the scene. It was the explosion.
"Then we heard all the, oh my God, all the ambulances and fire engines. The noise from all the emergency vehicles was unbelievable," she said. "It's a shock. Nothing ever happens like this in North Haven."
State police said they were assisting North Haven police with the investigation. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the scene.
North Haven is located just outside of New Haven, home to Yale University.
CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton contributed to this report.
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