Glendale Heights Explosion Prompts HazMat Response

Homeowner badly injured by fireworks packed inside home, authorities say

By Natalie Martinez and BJ Lutz
|  Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011  |  Updated 7:50 PM CDT
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An explosion of fireworks inside a <a title=Glendale Heights home forced police to evacuate nearly a dozen homes in the neighborhood on Wednesday." />

An explosion of fireworks inside a Glendale Heights home forced police to evacuate nearly a dozen homes in the neighborhood on Wednesday.

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An explosion of fireworks inside a Glendale Heights home forced police to evacuate nearly a dozen homes in the neighborhood on Wednesday.

Natural gas is reportedly not to blame for touching off the morning explosion at the home in the 400 block of East Altgeld Avenue.

The 56-year-old homeowner was found right inside the door of the home and was rushed to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.  Inside, police said the home was full of fireworks, prompting hazardous materials crews and federal agents to be brought in.

"There's a sufficient amount of fireworks in the house that we felt it was appropriate to call the bomb squad and for them to clear and make sure everything is safe in the building," said Dep. Chief Tom Bialas.

The DuPage County Hazardous Disposal Unit went through the home to make sure no one else was in danger.

Besides the evacuations, police asked a number of other neighbors to either leave the area or remain inside their homes while they investigated.

Criminal charges are a possibility because fireworks are illegal in Illinois.

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