Explosion Levels Park Forest Home

Amateur video shows flames, smoke emanating from structure

By BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011  |  Updated 9:40 PM CDT
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A home on Bailey Road in far south suburban Park Forest exploded Tuesday afternoon, shaking the neighborhood and sending a thick plume of black smoke skyward.

A home on Bailey Road in far south suburban Park Forest exploded Tuesday afternoon, shaking the neighborhood and sending a thick plume of black smoke skyward.

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Amateur Video: Park Forest Home Explosion

A home on Bailey Road in Park Forest exploded Tuesday afternoon.
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A home on Bailey Road in far south suburban Park Forest exploded Tuesday afternoon, shaking the neighborhood and sending a thick plume of black smoke skyward.

AT&T employees Ron Shockley and Garreth Carpenter were doing work just a short distance from the house when they heard a loud boom.  They said they ran toward the area and saw all the walls of the house were gone.

A woman, wearing just a nightown and without shoes, was standing on the second floor in shock, they said.  They grabbed a ladder and rescued her.

Seconds later, the floor on which she was standing disappeared because of fire.

"She said her shoulder hurt and she had a cut on her eye.  Other than that she was fine," said Shockley.

Police said a construction worker who was sitting in a truck parked outside the home had his beard singed off. 

Amateur video shot from down the block clearly showed flames shooting through the structure.  From above, NBC Chicago's helicopter could see a charred vehicle in the driveway.

Emergency crews responded to the area shortly after noon.  Nicor was called to the scene, but there was no official word on what sparked the explosion.

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