An Elgin man unloading tools from his work van Tuesday night turned to see the vehicle rolling backward into his home, where it broke the gas meter off the house and sparked a blaze that did extensive damage, authorities said.
Elgin firefighters arrived on the 300 block of south May Street at about 5:45 p.m. to find the van on fire and flames fed by natural gas creeping up the side of the 2½ story wood-frame home, said Elgin Batallion Chief Tim Michaels.
"We couldn't extinguish the fire until Nicor was on the scene to shut the gas off," Michaels said. "We tried to confine the fire to the gas meter outside the house, but all attempts to do so were eventually unsuccessful."
The fire moved into the second floor and the attic space, burning much of the roof off the house and causing extensive damage, Michaels said.
Flames also burned the electrical line to the house, and for a time, a live wire lay in the driveway.
Nobody was injured. Firefighters from West Dundee, South Elgin, Bartlett, Algonquin, Pingree-Grove, Bloomingdale and Rutland-Dundee assisted Elgin. No damage estimates were available.