Early Morning House Explosion Rocks Neighborhood

Neighbors said it sounded like a bomb went off. House is a total loss.

Oak Lawn firefighters finish extinguishing fire in the 10000 block of South Merrimac Ave.
Oak Lawn firefighters finish extinguishing fire in the 10000 block of South Merrimac Ave.

Two loud explosions woke up residents and shook houses near 100th Street and Merrimac Avenue early Monday morning.

Oak Lawn firefighters responded to a call for house explosion at 5:28 a.m. in 10000 block of South Merrimac Ave. along the Oak Lawn and Chicago Ridge border. When firefighters arrived, the front porch was fully engulfed in flames, Oak Lawn Fire Chief George Sheets said.

“The firefighters did an excellent job putting the fire out pretty quickly,” Sheets said. “We’ll be on the scene for several hours doing an investigation.

Sheets said that the homeowner had just left for work when he heard two loud explosions at the end of the street. The homeowner turned around the block only to see that his house was on fire.

“The fire took about 15 minutes to put out,” the fire chief said. “It was going pretty good. The house is a total loss. It’s unfortunate.”

Neighbors in the area reported hearing two simultaneous explosions. Tina Valdez said the explosion shook her own house just a few doors down.

Another neighbor, Ron Schultz, who lives about a block away, said he was in bed looking at his phone when he heard two loud pops.

“It sounded like a bomb went off,” Schultz said.

The state fire marshal was on the way to the scene, the fire chief said.

“We’re not sure what it is at this point,” Sheets stated. “We have somewhat of an idea but I can’t say for sure.”

There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Honestly IPO December 02, 2013 at 09:43 AM
I checked my phone it read 5:27. Hoping everyone inside got out safely. Hmmmm who dispatched the 911 response?
sandy digangi {mr gyros} 10806 s. cicero December 02, 2013 at 11:15 AM
So glad no one was hurt!!
Melissa Dub Swiat December 02, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Maybe a neighbor called 911?!?
Dodes1 December 02, 2013 at 05:08 PM
I am by the High School tennis courts on 93rd st. and I thought they were gun shots. Sounded just like them. I did think it was odd to be shooting someone at 530 am, however, these days nothing surprises me anymore.
Jen December 02, 2013 at 09:25 PM
When the neighbor called 911, the call had to be rerouted from Chicago Ridge to Oak Lawn. Why did this happen? We live in Oak Lawn. Did others have the same issue?
Ashley Pena December 03, 2013 at 03:16 PM
This could be heard in Burbank right off of Cicero. I thought I was gunshots as well. When I told my boyfriend about it he said I was probably dreaming because we had not heard anything on the news about it. Now I know I am not dreaming. I feel bad for those poor people though.


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