Explosion levels Illinois home; 4 dogs killed, no other injuries

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CASEYVILLE, Ill. — Fire officials say an explosion leveled a two-story home in rural Caseyville in southern Illinois.

Hollywood Heights Fire Chief Buddy Moore says the Saturday explosion appears to have been caused by natural gas. Moore says the blast blew the home off its foundation. He says utility companies were at the site on Saturday evening.

It happened about 6:30 p.m. while rental resident Dan Smith was away doing work at a friend's house.

Smith told the Belleville News-Democrat that four dogs died in the explosion. He says he didn't smell gas when he left the home.

“As soon as I sat down on the couch, I hear ‘boom,’ one big explosion,” neighbor Darlene Jonas sais. “I’m still shaking from it."

Said neighbor Larry Arnold, "It shook the whole neighborhood. It felt like it was going to blow my door off.”

Moore told the News-Democrat no one was injured.

Caseyville is in St. Clair County about ten miles east of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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