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posted: 4/23/2012 8:32 PM

Prospect Heights man suspected in 2011 Skokie explosion

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  • Stefan Kogut

      Stefan Kogut

 
 

A Prospect Heights man has been charged with arson in connection with a blast that blew off the front of a Skokie apartment building in December, according to police.

Stefan Kogut, of the 100 block of West Ridge Avenue, was charged with two counts of arson, police announced Monday.

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Kogut, 53, was found near the rubble of the two-story apartment building on Dec. 12 and had been injured from flying debris.

Fire officials said Kogut was "related to the building" and was hit by bricks when it exploded, according to an ABC 7 report. He was found on the front lawn. Kogut was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston after the blast.

The building had to be torn down due to the damage caused by the explosion.

The two-flat was vacant when the explosion occurred and was undergoing renovations, according to fire officials.

Officials originally told ABC 7 that a gas leak was suspected, but Monday's announcement of the charges against Kogut do not detail what caused the explosion.

A judge set Kogut's bail at $500,000. He is due in court again on May 7.

"This charge is a result of teamwork between the Skokie Police Department, the Skokie Fire Department, and the Illinois state fire marshal's office," police announced in a news release.

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