June 11 (UPI) – An explosion in Marengo, Ill., leveled two houses, damaged about 50 others and injured two people Sunday morning, emergency officials said.

The blast occurred around 4:40 a.m. and in addition to the two destroyed houses, caught four others on fire.

“The first battalion chief, on arrival, saw two houses that were completely gone. At that point, he pulled a MABAS box alarm, and tried getting more help in here to look for any possible victims,” Marengo Fire Protection District Chief Robert Bradbury said.

He said he didn’t believe anyone was in the two most seriously damaged homes at the time.

The cause of the explosion was under investigation, though officials believe it was caused by a gas leak.

“There was a gas leak a couple houses down, and the people were on vacation. The house was all closed up. So it blew, and it blew — in like a two- or three-block radius — windows out everywhere,” neighbor Deb Hamilton told WBBM-TV.

Flying debris damaged more than 50 homes in the neighborhood.



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