A suburban New Lenox family is counting their blessings after a massive explosion leveled their home.
Investigators were still combing through the wreckage Tuesday, trying to determine what sparked the blast Monday afternoon.
"I just ran and grabbed my kids and I hugged them," said homeowner Natalie Klimala. "I just thanked God."
The explosion occurred on the north side of the home, blowing out a wall.
A couple and five young children lived in house, but nobody was home at the time of the explosion. The children, ranging from 2 years old to 19 years old, came home just minutes after the explosion.
"This could have been catastrophic," Natalie Klimala said. "This is nothing."
Burned and broken family treasures were uncovered in the charred debris Tuesday. The contents of the family's safe, however, remained complete and were helping them cope with their loss.
"Kids only grow up once," said Frank Klimala. "It's all we have the younger years."
Investigators pumped water and cleared debris from the basement where a gas water heater and furnace were stores. Officials suspect a gas leak may have sparked the fire, but said the cause was still under investigation.
"We really don't know at this point, but that's what it would tend do," said Joliet Fire Chief Joe Formhals. "That's what we're focusing on."
The Klimala family said they're focusing on moving forward and plan to rebuild. They said they are shocked by the amount of support and generosity of neighbors and supporters who have offered assistance.
"As bad as this looks and as hard as this is going to be, we have our family and there's nothing more important than that," said Natalie Klimala.