Man Found Dead After Gurnee House Explosion Identified Through DNA

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man’s body found in the debris of a house that exploded last month in north suburban Gurnee has been identified through DNA testing as a 59-year-old resident of the village.

Firefighters responded at 6:05 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, to an explosion at a house in the 36000 block of Streamwood Drive, according to Gurnee Fire Department Battalion Chief David Douglass. The blast “leveled” the house, and fire spread throughout the rubble.

The fire was extinguished by 8:30 p.m., and firefighters found a body in the basement under the debris about 8:45 p.m., according to Lake County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sara Balmes.

When the house was rendered safe, the victim’s body was recovered.

An autopsy was conducted Sept. 11, and preliminary results showed the victim died from smoke inhalation, according to the coroner’s office.

But no dental records were available to assist in identifying the victim, and DNA testing was required, according to the Lake County coroner’s office.

DNA results take longer than dental records, but on Tuesday, the coroner’s office confirmed the victim was 59-year-old Boris Slaskin of Gurnee. It was not immediately known if he lived in the home that was destroyed.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to Mr. Slaksin’s family,” Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said in a statement. “We hope this news will help bring closure to this terrible tragedy.”

Six other nearby houses were damaged by debris from the explosion, and a female neighbor suffered a minor injury from debris falling in her home, Balmes said.

It was unclear whether the house was vacant or in foreclosure, authorities said.

North Shore Gas cut off gas service, Douglass said.

The explosion remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office, fire department and state Fire Marshal’s office.

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