In a Long Grove explosion on Friday night, a suburban home was leveled, and as many as 50 surrounding properties were damaged. The massive blast received a response from emergency services on a multiple jurisdiction level.
Fortunately, according to a dispatcher for the Countryside Fire Protection District, no one was in the home at the time of the explosion.
A couple of people were treated at the scene for minor scratches which occured when they found themselves close to the Long Grove explosion, luckily not too close.
Countryside Fire Protection District Chief, Jeff Steingart, said: “It’s a miracle that nobody had life-threatening injuries or got killed. That’s what makes this just unimaginable… that somebody lives.”
There is speculation that natural gas was most probably the culprit, considering the type of the explosion, but it’s really too early to confirm the exact cause.
House insulation was strewn across a large radius of the gated community, which is adjacent to a golf course. Six private homes are thought to have been completely destroyed and dozens more damaged.
Carole Keith, who lives in Vernon Hills, about a mile and half away from Long Grove, said: “It sounded like a huge explosion. It felt like a furnace in my house, my own house, had exploded.”
Reportedly, hundreds of people left their homes following the explosion as smoke and debris filled the air. Another resident of Vernon Hills told reporters: “It just smelled like a whole bunch of things had been burnt together.”
Investigators continue to search the debris, and examine the home which exploded in order to ascertain precisely what caused the massive, and potentially deadly, blast.
Natural gas would appear to be the likely cause of the Long Grove explosion on the basis of probability. These types of explosions cause an average of 17 fatalities, 68 injuries, and $133 million in property damage annually in the U.S. according to a study reported in the January issue of Environmental Science and Technology.
But, with all the downsides of natural gas, the alternatives are worse. Low grade heating oil gives off soot. Gas is also considerably cleaner than coal,
The alternative energy sources of wind power, solar energy and water generated power, while much cleaner, are not an economically viable alternative at this time.