Homeowner In Critical Condition After Explosion Rocks Home

CHICAGO (CBS) – The damage is so bad, it looks like a tornado tore through a neighborhood on the Far South Side. It wasn’t a bomb, but an explosion did blow apart a home Sunday night. All that’s left is a pile of sticks.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports the owner of the house was inside when it exploded. He’s in the hospital in critical condition. His house is gone, leveled by that explosion which is still under investigation. And there is damage up and down the block.

The only thing left standing at the house in West Pullman is the concrete porch. Every other part, and the possessions inside, were destroyed.

The explosion shattered glass, shredded wood into countless pieces and blew large appliances to the back of the lot. Clothes, bags and a purse hang from branches of a tall tree nearby.

On Ada Street near 123rd, it was a terrifying Sunday night. Neighbors thought they were under attack.

“Laying in the bed, watching the game. Then all of sudden, boom!” said Robert Forrest, next door neighbor.

“I just saw people running in front of my house, down the street, screaming and hollering,” said Robertine Redwood.

Stanley Wicks is a Vietnam veteran. He said the sound of the explosion brought back terrible flashbacks.

Tina Sutton, who lives next door, was watching TV with her kids.

“The whole room just shattered, everything fell on me, screen, TV, everything,” said Sutton.

Glass was blown into her home, cutting the face of her 16-year-old son so badly he needed 19 stitches.

“There was blood all over my clothes, all over my shoes and everywhere on the ground,” he said.

The owner of the house that blew up, Quincy Forrest, is hospitalized Monday night in critical condition. He apparently was the only one inside.

“I’m still shook up,” said Redwood.

People on the block were shaken, but also in remarkably good spirits, considering several of their homes were damaged by flying debris.

Tina Sutton will have live to in a shelter until her house is repaired, but she feels fortunate.

“I’m blessed that my kids are OK. This is material things. As long as I have kids and my health, I’m OK,” said Sutton.

The fire department says they don’t yet know what caused the explosion.

People in the neighborhood said they smelled gas, and gas was cut off in the area right after the explosion. It has since been restored on the block.

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