The package had sat alongside the concrete stoop of a Queens two-family home for about a week before the landlord — a kind and generous man, 72 years old — made the fateful decision to bend down and look inside.
It was cylindrical, and rather large, as if a cardboard can of Quaker oats had doubled in size.
Someone addressed it with a single handwritten word, “Mac,” before tying it inside a clear plastic trash bag.
On Friday, landlord George Wray untied the bag, and pried open the top.
The cylinder exploded immediately, engulfing Wray’s head, arms, torso and legs in flames.
Now, as Wray fights for his life at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, police are hunting whoever put the bomb there — trying to determine whom it was meant for, and why.
A police source told The Post on Saturday the target is believed to be a Bloods gang member who lives at the Brookville property.
“It wasn’t supposed to be for him,” a detective at the scene said of Wray, who lives nearby with his wife.
Tenant Cornelius Freeman, 34, was asleep when the bomb went off at 4:15 p.m. Friday. He was awakened by firemen banging on his door, shouting, “You gotta come out of the house!”
“When I came through the fence, my landlord was right there, on his knees,” Freeman said, pointing to the side of the stoop, which on Saturday was still blackened by explosives powder.
“It just looked like he just — like all the skin had come off him,” the shaken tenant said.
“It burned all his hair off his head.”
Even then, the landlord, who’d once given Freeman $180 out of his pocket, was generous.
“He was asking me, ‘Is y’all alright? Y’all alright?’ ” Freeman remembered.
“That’s all he was saying. We should’ve been asking him, ‘Is you alright?’, right?”
Whatever had been inside that plastic bag had looked suspicious from the start, Freeman added.
Nobody named “Mac” even lives at the address, he said.
“I was like, ‘Something’s just not right about this.’ ”
This story originally appeared in The New York Post.