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Explosion Destroys House In Suburban Manhattan

A home at 25831 Redstone in Manhattan Township was leveled by an explosion on July 19, 2012. (Credit: CBS)

A home at 25831 Redstone in Manhattan Township was leveled by an explosion on July 19, 2012. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 07/19/12 – 4:15 p.m.

MANHATTAN, Ill. (CBS) — A house in southwest suburban Manhattan was leveled by an explosion Monday morning.

The home, located at 25827 Redstone in Manhattan, was completely destroyed in the blast, leaving only a portion of one wall still standing, and luckily no one was seriously injured, even though one woman was inside the home at the time.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, thanks to two Good Samaritans, the woman was able to make it out of the smoldering debris.

The woman, identified as Tamara Chaffin, was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet. She was treated and released by late Thursday afternoon.

Neighbors said it sounded and looked like a bomb went off at the two-story house at about 10:30 a.m.

“I was sleeping, and it woke me up, and I came outside, and the whole house was in flames, just exploded. It was like an atomic bomb explosion, it was crazy,” witness Ryan Lindner said. “The whole house went up at once … not in increments, just all at once.”

Landscapers working next door ran to the scene right after the blast and helped the woman get away from the house.

Landscaper Dan Michalak said he was cutting the grass next door when he suddenly felt a blast push him against his mower. The blast was big enough to rock the ground.

“I felt some heat, looked to the right, and the house was engulfed in flame, and then the roofline sank,” he said.

After the blast, Michalak said he and a co-worker saw a woman standing in the rubble.

“She was standing in what was the second-floor bedroom, but was now on the first floor, and she was standing there,” he said. “A little dazed, kind of just looking around.”

His co-worker helped get the woman out of the debris, and waited with her until firefighters and paramedics arrived.

Michalak said the woman didn’t have any visible injuries.
Family friends said the woman’s husband and son, who arrived at the scene just after 2 p.m., had been on a camping trip.

They were reunited with the family dog, who ran to a neighbor’s house after the explosion.

The Manhattan Fire Department and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office were investigating the cause of the explosion. They have ruled out natural gas.

Most neighbors in the subdivision use propane tanks, but the victim’s tank was still intact.