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Explosion rips through 11 Ill. houses, injures FFs

Two firefighters were injured when an explosion leveled one home and damaged several others


Woodstock Fire/Rescue District/Facebook

By Nell Salzman
Chicago Tribune

WOODSTOCK, Ill. — An explosion shook Woodstock Monday afternoon.

What started as a natural gas smell at North Tryon Street and Lincoln Street turned into an eruption that leveled a home and damaged 10 others, according to a statement from Woodstock fire officials.

Firefighters arrived on scene midday to respond to a natural gas smell complaint and determined a 2-inch gas main inside a sewer line had been struck, the statement said. Officials said they evacuated St. Mary Catholic Church and School nearby and advised homeowners to stay in place until Nicor Gas could come help with the leak.

“Tryon Street between Washington Street and West Judd Street is closed for a natural gas leak in the roadway,” Woodstock fire officials wrote in a Facebook post around 2 p.m.

Then, about two hours later, a two-story home in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue exploded. A series of fires broke out.

According to officials, the explosion kept 20 fire agencies busy for hours. No major injuries were reported, the statement said, though two firefighters were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries.

Officials said all displaced residents were helped by American Red Cross. The cause of the explosion is being investigated.

St. Mary Catholic School canceled classes Tuesday, according to a post on their Facebook page.

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