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Nine officers injured in SWAT standoff, explosion in North Haven

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NORTH HAVEN -- At least nine officers were injured when a barn exploded behind a house, while police were negotiating with a man after a violent domestic incident. One person was found dead in the burned building.

It all happened at 385 Quinnipiac Avenue.

Yale-New Haven Hospital said they had nine patients from the incident, who suffered cuts, abrasions and bruises. The officers were from East Haven, North Haven, and Branford.

"Out of the five East Haven officers, two have since been released.  Three officers remain hospitalized with serious but non-life threatening injuries.  Their injuries are consistent with being in close proximity to the blast and range from concussions to leg injuries," said Lieutenant Joseph M. Murgo.

A man, who wasn't identified, had barricaded himself inside the home due to a domestic violence incident. Police haven't identified remains found at the scene, but the man was the only person believed to be inside the home at the time of the blast.

"This started late this afternoon with what was apparently a very violent domestic call," North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda told FOX61. The police "were trying to coax him...out of the house and really try to calm the situation down. Then things took a turn for the worse with an explosion."

“Our hearts go out to the brave first responders who put their lives on the line, and we wish those injured a safe and speedy recovery,” Governor Dannel Malloy said. “Yesterday’s tragedy serves as a stark reminder that domestic violence is a serious issue that must continue to be addressed and remain at the forefront of the national conversation. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, please know that you have a voice and there are resources available to help.”

The woman who sparked the investigation was not in the home at the time of the standoff. It was not considered a hostage situation.

Residents near the home said on the police department's Facebook page that they heard the explosion and felt their own homes shake around 8:30 p.m. Additional police rushed to the scene as the fire raged, and sounds of smaller explosions also were heard.

"I felt my house shake. It felt like a bomb went off in my attic," David DiMartino, who lives nearby, told the New Haven Register.

Firefighters worked to get the blaze under control more than an hour later.

State police said they were assisting North Haven police with the investigation.

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