Gas has been restored to 28 homes in northwest suburban Long Grove nearly two days after a home was leveled and dozens of other homes damaged in an explosion.
Natural gas in the Royal Melbourne subdivision of Long Grove was turned off following the explosion, leaving 36 homes without natural gas service, according to officials with North Shore Gas. Eight of those homes will remain without gas while the investigation continues, said spokeswoman Jennifer Block.
The company said technicians were assisting fire officials with their investigation after officials suspected the explosion was caused by a gas leak.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but officials said a gas company was in the area investigating a possible leak at the time of the explosion.
Fire officials said the home explosion happened around 10:40 p.m. Friday at Trenton Court and Wellington Drive.
The residents of the home, which is estimated to be around 5,000-square-feet, were not inside at the time of the explosion, according to Jeff Steingart, fire chief for the Countryside Fire Protection District.
The home is occupied by a man and a woman, but Steingart said the woman was the only one home at the time of the incident. He said she called to report a fire and was leaving her home for a friend's house when the explosion occurred.
"It's by the grace of God that nobody got hurt," he said. "It would have been a very different story if she did not evacuate when she did."
Two people were treated and released at the scene for minor injuries.
Steingart said the explosion caused damage to an estimated 50 nearby homes within a half-mile radius and compared the wreckage to that of a tornado.
He estimated that at least a dozen neighboring homes were evacuated following the explosion.
Residents in suburbs as far away as Palatine and Glenview reported hearing the explosion.
A passerby, who captured aerial footage of the scene with a drone, said debris stretched into neighboring suburbs.
"It's just a mess," said Bill Stockwell. "At least a half-mile of destruction. Insulation made it a few neighborhoods over. When I flew over the hole I could see into the foundation."
The actual cause of the fire and explosion could take months to determine and cleanup will take weeks, Steingart said.
Officials with the Illinois office of the State Fire Marshal and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are assisting in the investigation.