'I Woke Up to My Windows Gone, Front Door Blown Open'

8 people were rushed to area hospitals after explosion at Chicago apartment building
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2022 1:25 PM CDT
Explosion at Chicago Apartment Building Sounded Like 'Bomb'
Fire crews respond to the scene of an explosion inside a building on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in Chicago.   (Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Eight people were rushed to hospitals after being injured when an explosion Tuesday tore through the top floor of a Chicago apartment building, officials said. The explosion at the 36-unit, four-story apartment building in the South Austin neighborhood occurred about 9am, officials said. Chicago Fire Department Deputy Chief Marc Ferman told reporters a few hours later that the department had finished searching for potential victims and was "confident” that nobody remained trapped inside the building, of which much of the top floor had collapsed, reports the AP. "No one knows what the heck caused it," Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Seven of the injured were in the building when the explosion occurred and one apparently was in a building across the street, Ferman said. Three of the people who were hurt had serious to critical injuries, the department said. Photographs posted on the Chicago Fire Department’s Twitter page showed that much of the top floor was destroyed. Scores of bricks and other debris had fallen onto the street, crushing at least one car and seriously damaging two others.

Several residents said they were home when the explosion rocked the building. "I was asleep, and all of a sudden there was a loud booming," Lawrence Lewis, who was asleep at the time, told WGN television. "I woke up to my windows gone, my front door blown open. I just saw smoke, and I ran out of the house. I was asleep. I’m shook up right now." Otis Maning, who lives across the street, told the Sun-Times that he was on his couch watching television when "all of a sudden I hear, 'Boom!' My heart almost shot out of my body. ... I saw windows busted open, I saw debris," Maning added. "I heard the explosion from two blocks away,” Terrill Townes said. "It sounded like a bomb."

(More Chicago stories.)

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