Explosion levels house, several others damaged in suburban Long Grove

Written By BY MARAH ALTENBERG Staff Reporter Posted: 04/25/2014, 08:24pm

An explosion leveled a house and damaged more than a dozen others Friday night in northwest suburban Long Grove, officials said.

No one was injured in the explosion at about 10:45 p.m. on Trenton Court in the Royal Melbourne development, officials said. Neighbors said only one woman was at the home during the blast.

Don Thorp, who lives next to the damaged house, said his neighbor’s house experienced two explosions — a small one that caused a fire in the back of house and bigger one that leveled the home.

Thorp said he ran out of his house in his underwear when he heard the first noise. He said his neighbor also ran out of her house. They both called 911.

He said he told his neighbor not to return to her house because he feared that the fire might get out of control.

Three minutes later, the larger blast happened, Thorp said.

“I was knocked off of my feet by the second boom,” said Thorp, who was in his bedroom during that blast. “All my bathroom windows were blown out.”

He added most of his home’s other windows also were broken and several doors also were damaged.

At 1:20 a.m., firefighters from several departments worked to contain the blaze. About a handful of homes were evacuated late Friday. A gas line at the home continued to shoot flames several feet high two hours after the explosion. Insulation from the home was found as far away a half mile.

Several homes in surrounding communities also were rattled.

Steve Lemberg, who lives a few blocks away from the blast, said he heard the explosion.

“My son and I were driving back and the explosion happened,” he said. “We thought something happened to the car. We entered the subdivision and we went inside and my wife said the house shook terribly. We have had lightning bolts on the golf course and my wife said this was 10 times worse.”

Officials are investigating the cause of the explosion.

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