Crystal Lake home destroyed by fire after explosion shakes neighborhood

April 9, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Fire investigators were on the scene Wednesday night, appearing to focus on what's left of the front porch where a gas grill and propane tank had been recently used.

The fire tore through the house, consuming it within minutes and stealing generations of keepsakes from the family of Tim Goorsky.

"Pictures of my children when they were babies all the way until just recently, my grandson. So you know, it really is heartbreaking," said Goorsky.

It started around 3:40 Tuesday afternoon in the Bayview Beach subdivision of Crystal Lake. A loud blast at Goorsky's home shook the neighborhood and sent debris flying through the window of next-door neighbor Anne Marie Denofrio, missing her head by inches.

"I looked out the window, and his porch was just halfway burnt already," said Denofrio.

The growing inferno would spread to Denofrio's home. The flames were so intense, firefighters drew extra water from the nearby Fox River.

"The most challenging part initially was the volume of fire that our initial crew faced," said Chief William Hoover, Nunda Rural Fire Protection Dist.

Goorsky wasn't home, but soon arrived and immediately thought of his two dogs in a kennel in the back yard, though firefighters stood in the way.

"They were doing their job. They were trying to protect everybody's life. And I kind of crashed through a couple guys, grabbed my dogs and let them out," said Goorsky.

As firefighters were still dousing hotspots Tuesday night, Goorsky reflected on his loss and luck.

A retired union roofer, Goorsky and his son are normally home during the day.

"My son has the bedroom right above there. He definitely would have been killed or injured very badly," said Goorsky. "God has a plan for us all, and I'm sure he has something in mind with us."

Fortunately no one was injured in the fire. Investigators now looking at that gas grill and propane tank on the front porch. Tim Goorsky says he used the grill yesterday evening but believes he did turn everything off.

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