House explosion in south suburbs

February 6, 2009 2:24:53 PM PST
Several people need temporary homes after a fiery house explosion in a Chicago suburb.It happened in the 2400-block of Talandis Drive. The explosion destroyed one home and severely damaged two others Thursday in Sauk Village. Two people were injured.

Investigators have now determined that the explosion was accidental. Because of the damage being so complete, they are unable to determine exactly where the gas leak came from, except do say that it was from one of the appliances in the home, appliances which had been recently moved around as the tenants were in the process of moving out.

It was a natural gas leak which caused the Sauk Village home to explode Thursday afternoon. No one was inside for two days, allowing the gas to accumulate. When two of the tenants went in through the back door and flipped the light switch, the gas ignited.

Both men were injured but are expected to recover.

The explosion also damaged the homes on either side, displacing eight people.

"We stayed in a motel. We got to the motel about 1 in the morning, though, but it's all right," said Michele Flood, evacuated neighbor.

This family is lucky though. While the ceiling over the laundry room was damaged, the rest of the home was unscathed.

Unfortunately, the family living in the house east of the explosion won't be coming back any time soon.

"It's just a miracle that they're all right. I see the damage is really bad," said Carl Ferraro, landlord.

In fact, one of the bedrooms is unlivable and an entire side of the house needs to be replaced. Jackie Dunne's mother-in-law lives there. She's a diabetic who recently had a stroke.

"She wants to just get back into her home. She's lost without her home. She doesn't know where to go or what to do. She got help from the Red Cross for two nights in a hotel but doesn't know what she's going to do after tonight," said Dunne.

That woman is also a renter and the owner of the home. She says she is still waiting from the insurance company to hear from them to see how long they think it will take to repair the home.

As for the two men injured in the explosion, we don't have an update on their condition. They received burns to their face and hands and were transferred to Loyola Hospital Thursday.