One Dead, Four Injured After House Explosion In Streator
An elderly woman was killed overnight when her home was leveled by an explosion in southwest suburban LaSalle County. CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports the woman’s son also was in the home at the time, but survived. The explosion was reported around 11:30 p.m. at a home on Court Street near Little Street in Streator.
One home was destroyed in the blast, and flames spread to two neighboring houses.
An 82-year-old woman who lived in the home that exploded was killed in the blast, but her body has not yet been recovered from under the rubble. Her son was in the back of the house, which was not as severely damaged, and he survived the explosion.
Neighbors who live blocks away said their homes were rattled by the blast.
“I heard a big bang, … felt the house rumble and shake, and thought it was just a crack of lightning or thunder,” Scott Vogel said. “I got up and looked out the bedroom window, and it seemed like something on fire across the street by that house, and I said, ‘That’s on fire.’”
“The couch shook, and it shook really bad. My dog ran in a circle. I went to the front door, and there was huge flames,” neighbor Kathy Lanphier said. “The house was flat, instantly.”
The explosion set off fires that damaged two neighboring homes, one of which was gutted by flames.
Three firefighters who responded to the initial 911 call were injured, but have since been treated and released from hospitals. Two of them returned to the scene of the fire to put out hot spots.
Firefighters Battle Blaze in Evanston, "Several Cars" on Fire
Firefighters battled a large blaze in suburban Evanston late Sunday afternoon. Large clouds of black smoke and flames were seen shooting into the sky from North Shore Towing at 2527 Oakton St. just after 4 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
Fire officials said several cars were on fire and Oakton Street was shut down between Dodge and McCormick.
Firefighters managed to get the blaze under control quickly but were still battling the flames about an hour later.
Several area fire agencies were called to the scene and were expected to remain at the scene for “some time,” officials said.
The blaze took place near a popular strip mall and Home Depot in the area.
“I saw black smoke when I came outside and I heard like little explosions like ‘boom, boom,’” said Home Depot employee Junior Wright. “It’s burning my eyes a little bit still.”
The blaze caused a power outage at the Home Depot and prompted a precautionary evacuation of the building, according to employee Robert Saucedo.
Northbrook and Prospect Heights Fire Departments Look At Land Swap
A plan to disconnect 25 homes from Prospect Hts. Fire Protection District territory is part of a larger land swap deal in the works, the Journal & Topics has learned. Two public hearings are planned for October regarding a proposal to turn the homes over to Northbrook Rural Fire District control. In return, the Prospect Hts. Fire Protection District would add to its tax rolls property along Sanders Road south of Willow now in Northbrook Rural’s coverage area, according to Prospect Hts. Fire Chief Donald Gould.
An apartment development was proposed on eight acres along Sanders late last year, but was rejected by the city after much debate.
City officials, however, still have their eye on one day redeveloping close to 30 acres of land south of Willow owned by Allstate Insurance. Allstate’s headquarters are across Sanders Road in unincorporated Northbrook. As part of the land swap, Northbrook Rural would take control of nearly 25 properties in the Forest View Estates subdivision east of Portwine Road north of Dundee.
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Fire at Evonik plant in Mapleton reportedly under control
Volunteer firefighters are in high demand, but that's not the biggest challenge rural counties face. It's not so much the numbers, but being available when the call comes in.
Lewis County as a whole only has volunteer fire departments. So if there’s a fire in Maywood and no one is available, you could wait over 30 minutes for someone to put out the flames.
Bryan Jennings has been a volunteer fire fighter for the past 10 to 15 years.
"During the days, we don't have a whole lot of manpower, I think we have 30 something people on the roster, but during the day we may be down to five or six people," Jennings said.
This is the number one challenge that volunteer firefighters are facing in rural counties.
As volunteers, they are un-paid which means they have to also work a job that pays the bills.
So when there's a fire between 9 and 5, finding someone to put it out, can be extremely difficult.
“Some of us are able to take off without pay, some of us can take off, it just depends on your job and where you're at," Jennings said.
Peoria Journal Star