(WLS) ABC 7 Chicago

“Ethel Davison, 82, was killed in an explosion that leveled a home in Streator overnight, her son said Tuesday.

Tim Davison said his mother was asleep in their home in the 300-block of Court Street when the blast rocked the house. He was only a few rooms away. 

“I tried to make it to where my mother was, asleep in her bed. I just couldn’t there. The whole roof had collapsed on top of her. The flames and heat and the smoke were just too much to even get to her. I did try to get to her. But I just couldn’t make it,” Davison said. 

Emergency crews were called to the home around 11:30 p.m. Monday. Davison watched – stunned – as crews worked to sort through the rubble and locate his mother’s body. 

“We’re taking it very cautiously,” Streator Fire Chief Tom Risley said. “We have guys there with shovels. We’re lifting the stuff off that we can’t lift, but we have guys with shovels clearing the smaller debris.”

Davison said his doors and windows were blown out Monday night and the whole house was engulfed in flames. Kathy Lankhier, who lives nearby, said the blast shook her home.

“The house was flat, instantly,” Lankhier said. “You couldn’t see a house then. It automatically went to the next house.”

Two other houses were damaged in the blast and one caught fire. There is no immediate danger to anyone else in the neighborhood.

The LaSalle County Coroner’s office confirmed one death in the explosion overnight, but did not release the age or gender of the deceased. No additional injuries have been reported.

There is no official word yet on what caused the blast. NICOR and the state fire marshal were on the scene overnight. NICOR worked quickly to canvas the area and ensure no other homes were endangered. 

“You’ve got a large area. So we’re walking these entire blocks checking homes and the surrounding ground levels and at the end of the day we’ll have all these details,” NICOR spokesman Bernard Anderson said.

Streator is about 90 miles southwest of Chicago.”

WLS Photo

WLS Photo

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