2 injured in Homer Glen house explosion and fire

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Two people were injured in a house explosion and large fire caused by a gas leak in southwest suburban Homer Glen, Will County Emergency Services said. (WLS)

Two people were injured in a house explosion and large fire caused by a gas leak in southwest suburban Homer Glen, Will County Emergency Services said.

The fire started at a home at the intersection of South Parker Road and 143rd Street, located two blocks away from the leak. Officials said two people were taken to Silver Cross Hospital with burn injuries, one person is in critical condition. Fire officials said the victims are a father and daughter.

Nicor gas workers were still working to find and cap the leak Thursday night.

"We don't know where the leak is pinpointed right now. We're working to isolate our gas distribution system and stop the flow of gas there," said Joe Del Real, Nicor gas.

Nicor said it will take until at least 12:30 a.m. for them to cap the gas leak. As of 10:30 p.m., all residents within the evacuated area were allowed back to their homes except for tose with homes between Parker Road and Shoshoni Drive/Chickasaw Trail north of 143rd Street, officials said.

Residents were initially evacuated within a two mile radius and instructed to go to the Village of Homer Glen Community Room. The Red Cross provided hot meals and beverages for displaced residents at the Community Room. The organization said it will also provide assistance in finding lodging and emotional support for those affected.

"Firefighters, police officers and workers are going door to door to continue to make sure gas levels are low and safe throughout the neighborhood," said Dep. Chief Todd Fonfara, Northwest Homer Fire Department.

"We don't know how it started but a gas main was leaking and eventually they found out it was a gas leak and they started an evacuation of the area," said Homer Glen Mayor George Yukich said. "There is still gas leaking in the area."

ComEd shut off the power in the area of the leak after Homer Glen Fire Department requested them to do so, for safety reasons.

Yukich said residents started smelling gas from a significant distance away because the gas was traveling through sewage pipes.

"When I got to Bell Road and 143rd the smell was very, very strong," said resident Lisa Petty.

Roads are closed on 143rd from Lemont Road to Bell and on Parker Road from 131st to 151st. Possible subdivisions affected by the suggested evacuation included Pebble Creek, Dawnwood, Chickasaw Hills, Old Oak, Erin Hills, and Golden Oak.

Firefighters and Nicor workers are working through the night to stabilize the area, officials said.

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