Joliet home leveled by explosion

March 24, 2014 (JOLIET, Ill.)

PHOTOS: Joliet house explosion

The home is in the 700-block of Lambeth Lane. No one was home when the house exploded, and no injuries were reported.

A family of five lived in the house, including 3 school-aged children. A relative said that had the explosion occured an hour later, all three of the children would have been home.

"My legs were shaking. My legs are still shaking about the whole scene, everything that happened," said Matt DeMichael.

Matt DeMichael, 13, lived in the home with his mother, stepfather and siblings.

Neighbors reported hearing multiple explosions at the house around 2:30 p.m. Monday, which were followed by a large fire. The Joliet Fire Department and Will County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene.

"This humongous boom. And I mean the whole house shook. The cats went nuts," said Debbie Hughes, neighbor.

The family that lived there is now staying with relatives.

"Very distraught, very distraught. They can't believe that this happened, their house is just totaled, it's gone. There's nothing left," said Janice Wenzel, homeowner's sister.

"I thought my brother could have died in it. And I was just really emotional," said Matt DeMichael.

Among the treasured possessions lost in the home was the family's collection of Blackhawks memorabilia. In fact, after the Hawks won the Stanley cup last year, we interviewed matt's siblings as they waited to see the cup at the United Center.

"It's just an amazing feeling. We've got the cup again. It's an even bigger celebration. We love it," said Aubrey Klimala, in June 2013.

Despite losing everything, the family was relieved Monday night.

"The house is just completely gone. We can try to help them replace pictures. As long as they're okay," said Wenzel.

Eyewitness News was unable to reach the Joliet Fire Department for comment Monday night. The family says it recently had a new furnace installed, perhaps a month ago, but the cause of the blast is still being investigated.

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