CHICAGO (CBS) — An explosion left a gaping hole in a house in west suburban Brookfield, and sent debris flying into the street Tuesday night.
The recently renovated home at the corner of Prairie and Windemere was about to be sold, when something in the unfinished basement blew up around 10:40 p.m.
Firefighters suspect a natural gas explosion was to blame.
The blast tore a hole in the home’s wall, damaged a fence, blew out windows, and shot pieces of wood into the street.
Debris was still smoking as firefighters extinguished a small blaze and Nicor Gas workers tried to figure out what happened.
No one was home at the time, so there were no injuries.
Neighbors said they first thought the sudden boom was a car crash.
“I just was going to take a bath and go to bed, and then I heard this big boom, and I thought it was the trains, because we usually hear the trains, but things were shaking in my house,” Fran Brousil said. “I could smell the wood burning, and I thought that was strange for a car accident, and then I saw the timbers laying in the streets, smoldering.”
According to neighbors, the homeowners had been rehabbing the 3-bedroom 2-bathroom home for months. Real estate records showed the home has a brand new kitchen, and is under contract.
Brookfield Fire Chief Mark Duffek said, although severely damaged, it’s possible the house is salvageable. For the time being, however, the house will be boarded up.
Duffek said an investigation of the explosion will be turned over to the homeowner’s insurance company.