The exact cause of the blast that leveled the home in Hampton will not be known for weeks.
The home's owner, 70-year-old George Tulley, was at work when the explosion occurred Wednesday.
His son, Robert, tells the Courier News of Bridgewater his father allowed family and friends to stay in the house. The son says his father wasn't aware that 53-year-old Deborah Smith was there.
She died in the basement despite efforts by neighbors to rescue her.
It took firefighters from 12 area fire departments one hour to extinguish the blaze.
Information from: Courier News (Bridgewater, N.J.) , http://www.mycentraljersey.com