An explosion and fire has gutted a row house in New York City's Bronx borough, killing at least one person and injuring nine, including five police officers, the city fire department said.

Video from the scene showed flames and plumes of smoke outside a building as police officers urged bystanders to move away from the site.

In footage posted on Twitter by the New York Fire Department, firefighters could be seen training streams of water on the smoking, blackened exterior of the three-story building, where media reports said an apparent natural gas explosion sparked the fire and partial collapse of the structure.

A fire department spokesman told Reuters by phone that at least one person was confirmed dead in the explosion and fire and that nine others were injured, including five police officers.

A neighbour said she and others rushed to help people escape

A neighbor identified as Bonnie Salgado, interviewed at the scene by local station WNBC-TV, said she heard a "big boom," then saw rear of the building "tumbling down" and debris blown into the backyard before a second explosion shook the building.

Salgado said she and other onlookers rushed to help occupants escape the building.

The deadly blast and fire came nine days after another apartment fire in the Bronx, apparently triggered by a faulty space heater, killed 17 people and injured dozens of others.