1 Hurt in Skokie Home Explosion

The cause of the explosion has not been confirmed

By Charlie Wojciechowski and Lisa Balde
|  Monday, Dec 12, 2011  |  Updated 12:26 PM CDT
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A residence in Skokie apparently exploded Monday morning, injuring someone walking by.

A residence in Skokie apparently exploded Monday morning, injuring someone walking by.

A man suffered minor injuries Monday morning in a Skokie home explosion.

The entire front of the building at 8734 N. Kimball Ave. was blown off in the blast and a majority of the roof was torn off.

Jim Walters, Skokie Fire deputy chief, said firefighters received reports of a fire at the home at about 9:03 a.m. and then reports of an explosion a short time later. By the time crews arrived, the front of the house was already down and the building was engulfed, Walters said.

The cause of the explosion has not been confirmed, but it is believed to have been started by natural gas.

Nicor crews were on the scene to investigate, though they can't go inside because the building is too structurally unsound. Gas was shut off to the area.

"Right now we're trying to investigate the cause," Walters said.

The house is under construction and was empty at the time, officials said.

It's unclear if the injured man was walking near the house when the explosion occurred or if he was working construction. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital.

A demolition company has been contacted to safely bring down the building.

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