Five people were inside an Evanston home at the time authorities say a possible explosion occurred.
Evanston firefighters said they were called to a possible explosion in the 1400 block of Brown Avenue around midnight. They arrived at the scene to discover the house full of smoke with some flames still burning, officials said.
"As [firefighters] went in, extinguished the fire, they noticed the damage that was conducive to an explosion," Fire Chief Paul Polep said.
Evanston's fire chief said five people were inside the home at the time of the potential blast, with three on the main level and two upstairs. Three people who were on the first floor were treated for minor injuries and later released, authorities said.
One neighbor told NBC 5 she thought she heard thunder, but then came outside and saw smoke billowing out of the house.
"We was watching the TV and then we hear something, I don’t know exactly what it was," said neighbor Lupi Calderon.
When Calderon came outside to see what happened, she said she heard screaming.
"The girl, she was screaming that she needs help so the neighbors run to help her and then we see the guy he came out and doesn’t know what’s happening. Then just the ambulances," she said.
Neighbors helped a woman as she handed them her child through a window after the door appeared too damaged to get out, witnesses said.
One witness said the people coming out of the home appeared "deafened, partially blinded by something."
Police and the state fire marshal are now investigating what caused the explosion.
"It doesn’t look like it started in any natural way, that’s for sure," Polep said.