WOODSTOCK, Ill. — Emergency response teams were still on scene in Woodstock Monday night, hours after an explosion reduced a home to rubble and caught nearby structures on fire.
Officials say it was around 2:40 p.m. when the two-story home exploded, damaging 20 buildings and displacing 22 people.
“The house is burned to the ground and there’s nothing left,” said Becky Bosowski, the homeowner’s sister.
Bosowski said her brother shared the home with his wife, their roommate, two dogs and a cat. According to Bosowski nobody was home at the time of the explosion.
“All three of them were at work,” Bosowski said.
Officials say the gas company was working in the area when a gas main was struck shortly before the explosion happened.
Woodstock Fire and Rescue District Fire Chief Brendan Parker said crews were notified about the smell of natural gas in the area around 12:35 p.m. after the two-inch gas line was hit.
“The explosion instantly leveled a home and ignited a fire in several adjacent structures,” Parker said.
In a post made on Facebook at 2 p.m. on Monday, about 40 minutes before the explosion, Woodstock Fire and Rescue officials said that crews were working a natural gas leak in an area along North Tryon Street between Washington Street and West Judd Street.
In the post, officials said St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which is across the street from the home, was evacuated and surrounding homes were advised to shelter in place.
According to officials, 20 fire agencies responded to the explosion and subsequent fires that broke out.
An official from Nicor Gas issued the following statement on Monday:
The safety of the public and every family we serve is our No. 1 value. Nicor Gas crews are onsite working with first responders to safely secure the area and to assist local authorities with their investigation of this incident,” an official from Nicor Gas said in a statement on Monday afternoon.Allison Erdman Gregoire, PR & Media Relations for Nicor gas
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for the family impacted by the explosion.