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Cause still unknown in West Pullman explosion

November 30, 2010 4:49:31 AM PST
The day after an explosion at a neighbor's house damaged her home and injured two of her children, Tina Sutton was picking up the pieces.

"It felt like somebody threw a bomb at my house," said Sutton about the explosion near 122nd and South Ada, which occurred at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The force sent bricks and glass into her living room and a neighbor's door wound up in her house.

"All I heard was a big explosion, the neighbors door flew in and the TV fell on top of me and glass splattered and hit my kids in the face," said Sutton.

Two of Sutton's children were injured by flying debris- glass shards and brick. They were treated and released from a local hospital.

"I got some cuts on my face and head and on my nose, lip, arms," said Aaron Walker, who has nine stitches.

Their neighbor, a 30-year-old man, was home at the time of the explosion. He remains hospitalized in critical condition with burns and serious injuries.

As crews investigate the cause of the explosion, neighbors have begun cleaning up the debris.

"I thought it was thunder at first. I was upstairs in bedroom, by time I came down debris had settled," said Cleveland McCullum, neighbor.

"The impact of this shook all the way over to Maple Park," said Darryl White. "That's a good half mile away."

On Monday, the Chicago Fire Department sent investigators to examine the property and utility workers marked underground lines. Neighbors say there was a strong odor of natural gas after the explosion.

Cleanup will take time, but Sutton, who is living in a hotel with her three children until her home can be repaired, said the loss of materials isn't important.

"I'm just blessed. I'm more honored to be standing in front of you," said Sutton.


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