Gunpowder causes explosion during Colona house fire

Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 3:44 PM CST
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COLONA, Ill. (KWQC) - Colona Fire Department officials say an explosion happened in a house Thursday while firefighters were extinguishing a fire in the home.

Fire personnel responded at 10:29 p.m. to a structure fire on Ballegeer Lane. Firefighters on scene saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the two-story home and began an offensive fire attack. While performing the attack, an explosion from the basement happened, leaving fire personnel inside the house disorientated from the noise and impact, according to a press release.

Officials say crews exited the house, and all were accounted for and none were transported for injuries. Once the house was cleared, crews later used a defensive action to put out the fire. Firefighters suppressed the fire for several hours and left the scene at 3:30 a.m.

No occupants were in the house at the time of the fire and the cause of the explosion was determined to be gunpowder stored by the occupants in the basement, Deputy Fire Chief Kirk Wyffels said.

Fire officials say the home is considered to be a complete loss, and family members are assisting the occupants.

Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office will be investigating the fire.