Sauk Village, IL- The 2400 block of Talandis Avenue in Sauk Village was slowly getting back to normal Friday after a house explosion injured two men, destroyed their house and damaged two adjacent houses Thursday night.
The family that lives just east of the house that exploded planned to move back in Friday, fire Capt. Rich Atwood said. A phone call to the home was not returned.
The house to the west, however, had more significant damage and will not be lived in “for some time,” Atwood said.
The blast occurred about 5 p.m. Thursday because of a natural gas leak in the house at 2463 Talandis Ave. When emergency crews arrived, they found the home fully in flames and partially collapsed.
“The folks had not been in the house for two days. The investigators were not able to exactly determine the source of the gas, but for two days the gas built up in the house,” Atwood said. “The two gentlemen opened the door, so an influx of fresh air rushed into the house. They turned on a light switch and ‘boom.’ “
The gas had built up to a level that, when fresh air was added, “all it needed was an ignition source, the light switch, to start the explosion,” Atwood said, adding that the house was a total loss.
He said the men suffered first-degree burns on their hands and faces. They first were taken to St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center in Dyer, Ind., and later were transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood Thursday night, according to fire officials.
The only other injury was to a firefighter who was treated at the scene after falling on ice, Atwood said.
The Sauk Village police and fire departments did not disclose the names of the injured residents.
The American Red Cross responded to the explosion site and relocated the family residing in the house to the west to a nearby hotel. A message for that family was not returned Friday.
“The folks in the hotel have been allowed to go back and collect personal belongings. But their house will be uninhabitable for some time,” Atwood said.