Explosion levels house, damages 30 others in Long Grove - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Explosion levels house, damages 30 others in Long Grove

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LONG GROVE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Carly Happ, 17, and her sister Lauren, were picking up the insulation Saturday morning from the exploded home in a northwest suburban Long Grove subdivision.

While picking up the scraps of insulation, that almost look like snow, they also found some pictures, pages from books, fantasy game cards and even a knife from a silverware set.

“We’re saving it, if it looks like it might have sentimental value,” said Lauren Zanotelli, adding it was a “miracle” no one was seriously hurt, the Sun-Times is reporting. Happ said she was inside her home in The Preserves when the explosion went off around 10:45 p.m., “and it literally was like a truck hit our house,” she said.

“The whole house shook and everyone came outside,” she said. “It was chaos.

“It could of been so much worse,” she added.

Neighbors and residents all over the Long Grove, Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire areas continue to be stunned today at the magnitude of the blast that shook homes for miles around. Many local residents came running out of their homes, thinking an earthquake may have hit.

The upscale home at 4771 Trenton Court was leveled to the ground Friday night, after a massive explosion. Only one person had been in the home prior to the blast, but had run out to the street after a fire started in the back of the house. Three minutes later the house had a massive explosion. The female homeowner, however, was safe, police said.

Around 10:30 PM, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports responding to the area of Trenton Court and Wellington Drive in Long Grove for a report of a house explosion.

When deputies arrived, several homes appeared to be on fire and one home in particular had been leveled, said the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, in a release today. Deputies immediately worked to evacuate affected homes within the area and made certain all residents were accounted for.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that the explosion may have been caused by a natural gas leak, although further investigation is on-going, Lake County Sheriff’s officials said.

At this time, there have been reports of minor injuries and it is estimated that 30 homes have been damaged as a result of the explosion, Sheriff’s police confirm.

Damage was extensive to neighboring houses from the explosion on Trenton Court in the Royal Melbourne development, and several homes are uninhabitable, though Battalion Chief Brian Garrity didn’t have an exact count.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputies are securing the area, while dozens of Sheriff’s Office employees investigate the incident.

“We are working in collaboration with the ATF, Illinois State Fire Marshal and numerous fire departments,” the release said.

Don Thorp, who lives next to the damaged house, said his neighbor’s house experienced two explosions — a small one that caused a fire in the back of the house and a bigger one that leveled the home.

Thorp said he ran out of his house in his underwear when he heard the first noise. He said his neighbor also ran out of her house. They both called 911.

He said he told his neighbor not to return to her house because he feared that the fire might get out of control.

Three minutes later, the larger blast happened, Thorp said.

“I was knocked off of my feet by the second boom,” said Thorp, who was in his bedroom during that blast. “All my bathroom windows were blown out.”

He added most of his home’s other windows also were broken and several doors were damaged, among other damage in his home. Thorp and his wife, who was in the street in her bathrobe, were unable to return to their home Friday night. Today he was able to return to retrieve some clothes.

Steve Lemberg, who lives a few blocks away from the blast, said he heard the explosion.

“My son and I were driving . . . and the explosion happened,” he said. “We thought something happened to the car. We entered the subdivision and we went inside and my wife said the house shook terribly. “We have had lightning bolts on the golf course and my wife said this was 10 times worse,” he said.

Fire departments from across Lake County responded. The neighborhood uses well water and has no fire hydrants. Numerous tanker trucks were brought in to drain water from nearby ponds to be used to help contain the fire.

Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas officials were also brought in to help turn off the gas line. Flames had been shooting up from the gas line for two or three hours at least before officials from the gas companies arrived to get the line shut down.

There was debris strewn all around the Royal Melbourne and The Preserves developments. Insulation from the house that exploded could be seen everywhere, almost like a coating of snow. It covered many nearby rooftops and traveled as far as the parkway on Route 83.

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