Two Nicor Gas workers have been injured and two townhouse units have been destroyed in a massive fire and explosion caused by a gas leak, according to the Village of Romeoville.
Lockport Fire Protection District and the Romeoville Fire Department responded to an explosion at around 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of Strawflower Court and Wespark Boulevard in Romeoville, the Village said. Nicor employees were in the process of repairing a gas leak, which was reported earlier in the afternoon.
Two townhouse units have been destroyed due to the explosion. No injuries to residents have been reported, but two Nicor workers have been injured. One is in serious condition and the other reportedly has minor injuries, according to the Village. Both have been transported to the hospital.
Several units surrounding the explosion have been evacuated as a precautionary measure. Emergency personnel and Nicor Gas employees are still detecting gas, according to the Village. Nicor is currently working on shutting off the main in the area.
Romeoville Public Works, Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency Management, Building Department and the Lockport Fire Protection District are all on the scene.
Valley View School District 365U Director of School and Community Relations Larry Randa said classes at nearby Hermansen Elementary School will go on as scheduled tomorrow. The road closures in the neighborhood will not affect bus routes.
A video posted by Rob Elgas of ABC 7 shows a heavy cloud of thick, dark smoke billowing from the remains of a home in the southwest suburban neighborhood. Firefighters can be seen around the perimeter of the explosion hosing it down with water. The video shows just a bit of flames, but most of it is smoke clogging the air.
Another video shows heavy flames coming from the home. A firefighter is heard on video pushing the crowd away.
“We gotta make sure this doesn’t explode again,” he said.
“I’ve never seen a house fire that big, nor have I heard an explosion that loud,” she said.
The flames on the house are apparently out, having stopped at around 8:30 p.m.
Jackson said she saw Nicor Gas working on the scene earlier in the day. There was an open gas pipe in the middle of the street, she said, and multiple police and fire trucks surrounding it.
“I saw them working on the gas line probably around 3 p.m.,” she said.
Nicor Gas tweeted that it received a call at 7:30 p.m. for an explosion at Strawflower Court in Romeoville and is assisting with the investigation.
The American Red Cross arrived on the scene just after 9 p.m. to provide disaster assistance.
“At this time, the number of people displaced has not been determined,” Red Cross Communications Manager Patricia Kemp said.
The Romeoville Police Department sent out a tweet advising residents to avoid the Wespark subdivision as all streets are closed to the public.