Service restored for most homes near Long Grove explosion

Nearly every Long Grove resident living near the house that exploded Friday night has been given the all clear to return to their homes Sunday following natural gas service testing, according to a North Shore Gas representative.

Eight homes, including the home that exploded, remain without natural gas service as the investigation into what caused the blast that could be felt for miles away continues.

Although the investigation is far from over, a natural gas leak was identified by the Lake County Sheriff's Office as a possible explanation.

Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Steingart said there were open gas lines burning freely Friday night while his crew fought the blaze sparked by the explosion.

In all, 36 homes had their natural gas shut off late Friday night.

“We cut the service as a precautionary measure Friday night after the explosion and were doing testing to make sure the line was still safe and reliable,” said Jennifer Block, Media Relations director for Integrys Group, which owns North Shore Gas.

Steingart told the Daily Herald Saturday that North Shore crews already were in the area before the explosion handling a natural-gas odor complaint.

In addition to restoring service, North Shore Gas employees relit natural gas appliances for residents who were available on Sunday. Block said some customers still haven't contacted the gas company to relight their appliances.

Block said some homeowners chose to stay in their homes while their service was off Saturday and early Sunday, while others left.

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