Man killed in house explosion near north suburban Lake Zurich

House was leveled by explosion

Firefighters work the scene of a home explosion Tuesday, June 4, 2024, near Lake Zurich. First responders found the home leveled after an explosion about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The body of a man was recovered by authorities after a house exploded Tuesday evening near Lake Zurich.

Emergency workers were called about 8:30 p.m. to the 23500 block of North Overhill Road after multiple reports of the explosion.

Authorities could not account for the 77-year-old man who lived in the home. A body of an adult male was recovered from the rubble later in the investigation.

An autopsy indicated the man died from injuries consistent with “inhalation of products of combustion,” according to a news release from Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek. However, positive identification will take more time as additional forensic analysis of dental records and DNA samples is necessary. Toxicology testing for carbon monoxide is also pending.

A vehicle was incinerated Tuesday, June 4, 2024, when a house in the 23500 block of North Overhill Road near Lake Zurich exploded. One person was found dead inside the house, authorities

The house was leveled by the explosion, authorities said.

“It hampered our efforts that the natural gas was free-flowing and burning at the front corner of the house,” Lake Zurich Fire Chief David Pilgard said of the firefighters’ initial attack on the blaze.

Wheeling Police Chief James Dunne lives two blocks away from the site of the explosion and initially thought it was lightning.

Authorities say one person was killed Tuesday, June 4, 2024, when a house exploded in the 23500 block of North Overhill Road near Lake Zurich. Investigators searched through the rubble Wednesday searching for clues to what caused the explosion.

“I was sitting there watching the Cubs rain delay and I thought it was a bolt of lightning or something because it was very loud and the whole house shook,” he said. “I went out back at first and didn’t see anything and then went to the front and saw smoke coming from the house behind the next street over.”

Dunne said the whole house was almost immediately engulfed in flames following the explosion.

Officials investigate the scene the morning after a house exploded in the 23500 block of North Overhill Road near Lake Zurich.

“Everybody was forced to stay back because the flames were just everywhere,” Dunne said.

Dunne hadn’t noticed any utility work being done in the area that day and had no recollection of natural gas smells in the area before the explosion.

Neighbor Erinn McBride’s home had windows blown out as well as some siding damage.

“My daughters and I were in the house. We heard a loud boom. My son was outside playing so I told the girls to go check on him, I thought a tree fell,” she said. “I went upstairs to see, and then came outside and it was chaos. All the neighbors came out and were trying to get in and save the man. You couldn’t. There was no way to get close.”

Authorities reported no other injuries from the blast.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

· Daily Herald staff writer Paul Valade contributed to this report.

Jake Griffin Daily Herald Media Group

Jake Griffin is the assistant managing editor for watchdog reporting at the Daily Herald