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updated: 10/2/2013 12:01 PM

Rolling van knocks gas meter off home, starting blaze

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  • A Tuesday evening fire damaged a house in the 300 block of May Street in Elgin.

       A Tuesday evening fire damaged a house in the 300 block of May Street in Elgin.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • More than $170,000 damage resulted in Tuesday night's house fire on May Street in Elgin.

       More than $170,000 damage resulted in Tuesday night's house fire on May Street in Elgin.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

An Elgin home was heavily damaged Tuesday night after a work van rolled backward into the house and knocked a gas meter off the building, igniting a blaze, authorities said.

No one was injured fighting the fire, and the estimated loss to the building and its contents was approximately $170,000, fire department officials said Wednesday.

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Firefighters were called to the 300 block of May Street about 5:45 p.m. for a report of a house and vehicle on fire.

Elgin firefighters, with help from seven other departments, said they found fire extending from a van to the outer wall of the home and into the basement.

The fire had engulfed portions of the first and second floors.

Complicating matters was when the gas meter was knocked off the home it allowed natural gas to feed the fire. The power lines running from the street to the home had been burned through, causing them to drop on the driveway, creating an additional hazard for firefighters.

Nicor and ComEd crews were called to control the gas and power, but due to the intensity of the blaze, Nicor had to dig up the parkway of 365 May St. in order to shut off gas service.

The fire took approximately 90 minutes to bring under control and was completely extinguished once gas service was terminated.

Authorities said the initial reports indicated the van had slipped out of gear and rolled down the driveway, striking the gas meter. A man had been unloading tools from the van when it began rolling.

The blaze remains under investigation.

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