Gas buildup caused Joliet home explosion, source still elusive - New York News

Gas buildup caused Joliet home explosion, source still elusive

Posted: Updated:
JOLIET, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The explosion and fire that destroyed a two-story southwest suburban home on Monday were caused by a buildup of natural gas in the basement, the Southtown Star is reporting.

Investigators concluded that the incident, which occurred at 2 p.m. in the 700 block of Lambeth Lane in Joliet, was not intentional, but the specific cause for the gas leak has yet to be determined by insurance companies, Joliet Fire Chief Joe Formhals said.

There are "various sources" in the basement that could have ignited the gas, such as the water heater or furnace, the chief said.

The home was owned by Frank and Natalie Klimala, who live there with their five children, one of whom is away at college. No one was home at the time of the explosion, which occurred about an hour before the children returned from school.

Insurance companies will test all gas appliances, focusing on the units and connections that were in the basement, including the hot water heaters and a new furnace, Formhals said. There also was a gas fireplace on the main floor, he said.

The new furnace, which family members said was installed in February, is one possible cause, Formhals said. Any time a new item is introduced, it is suspected, he said.

"They will look at everything powered by gas. It could have been a connection at the furnace or anywhere else. There are lots of gas lines in the basement. I hope the experts can deduce what transpired," he said, adding "this could take awhile."

The next step will be to clear the debris left by the explosion and determine whether the foundation is safe to rebuild on, Formhals said.

Fire crews also used thermal-imaging cameras to determine that there was no fire damage to the house to the north, owned by Jim Forrest.

There was a broken window, and visible damage to the soffit and fascia on Forrest's two-story home, and a couch from the Klimalas' home landed on his roof. He also said there were cracks in his walls and doors, which were not closing properly since the explosion.

"I have no idea of the extent of the damage," Forrest said Thursday, adding he is waiting for an inspection. He and his wife are able to live in the home.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New Jersey detective acquitted in Maryland highway shooting

    NJ detective acquitted in Md. highway shooting

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:16:51 GMT
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
  • Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:31:08 GMT
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.

  • Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:28:00 GMT
    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato.

    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato. Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the detective's protective vest may have saved his life.


Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices