The massive explosion and fire in East Harlem that took the lives of seven people could've taken one more, if it weren't for a bunch of pianos and a little luck.

Colin Patterson was watching TV in his apartment, located behind the Absolute Piano store on the ground floor of the apartment complex that exploded as the result of a gas leak. He heard a loud "boom" and then saw several pianos flying through the air.

"The pianos were all around me," he told the New York Daily News. "They were literally on their side. I was stuck in some miraculous cocoon of pianos," he said. The bulky wood and steel instruments surrounded the piano technician and blocked the heavy debris from crushing him as the building collapsed all around him.

Patterson was able to crawl our of the wreckage with minor injuries.

Buildings collapse after NYC explosion

POSTED: 9:16 AM Mar 12 2014   UPDATED: 11:36 AM Mar 12 2014

Hundreds of firefighters are on the scene of a building explosion and collapse in New York's East Harlem.

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Adnan Islam

New York police and fire officials were responding to reports of a massive explosion in Manhattan's East Harlem, authorities said Wednesday.