“Two women were seriously injured when an apparent gas explosion sparked a house fire in the Pilsen neighborhood, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said.
“The blast occurred just after 5 a.m. inside a two-story home in the 1300 block of West Cullerton Street, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.
â€œIt appears at this time to have been a gas explosion.â€ Langford said.
The two women, who are believed to be in their 20s, were taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in serious-to-critical condition with burns, Langford said.
A third person declined treatment by paramedics, Langford said. Fire officials had called an EMS Plan 1, sending at least five ambulances to the scene.
The force of the blast blew out the west wall of the building, leaving debris strewn across an adjacent lot, Langford said.
The explosion sparked a fire that spread from the kitchen of the home, and fire investigators will begin their investigation into the cause by examining kitchen gas lines, Langford said.
Peoples Gas crews remained on the scene as of about 10 a.m. assisting the fire department with â€œtheir investigation of a possible natural gas explosion,â€™â€™ said spokeswoman Jennifer Block.
Tribune reporter Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed to this report.