Crews demolish South Side home after explosion

The Chicago Fire Department is looking for the cause of an explosion and fire at 90th and Normal. It happened Monday morning, July 23, 2012. Read more.

July 23, 2012 2:51:03 PM PDT
Neighbors say they smelled gas days before a house exploded on the city's South Side, but their calls to Peoples Gas went unanswered.

"I'm very upset about this situation and I want something done about it," Greta Myers, homeowner, said.

Myers and several other residents who live near the intersection of 90th and Normal say Peoples Gas ignored their calls about the situation. Around 9:30 a.m. Monday, the home at 9010 South Normal Avenue exploded.

"I had called Peoples Gas for a week and they hadn't came out and did anything about the smell and the odor," Natasha said.

No one was injured. Authorities have yet to determine what sparked the blast and neighbors say the home has been vacant for a month. Crews are already working to demolish the building.

"We've been calling for two or three days now about the gas leak. It's crazy it takes the house to blow up for someone to come out," Eloise Chairs said.

"I got up and heard the big boom like an explosion or somebody had blew out a tire. I asked investigators what were going on, and I was hit with nothing but smoke," Joanne Meade said.

Fire officials say Peoples Gas had shut off the gas to the home, but the gas meter may have been tampered with and turned on illegally.

A spokesperson for the utility issued a statement which reads in part, "Peoples Gas technicians are onsite and currently working alongside Chicago Fire Department regarding their investigation into the house fire and explosion."

The owner of a neighboring home damaged by the blast is glad no one got hurt but is NOW temporarily displaced from his home.

"They done busted down my door. I can't live in my house. And it could have been prevented," Clifton Myers, homeowner, said. Peoples Gas crews are now restoring gas to the neighborhood, but say it could take a few hours.

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