Resident in house explosion likely killed self, police say
A Mundelein resident whose house exploded Friday likely killed himself first, and it was that action that triggered the blast, police said Monday.
An autopsy conducted Monday indicated the man had self-inflicted wounds, Police Chief Eric Guenther said. Guenther wouldn't elaborate, and officials with the Lake County coroner's office declined to comment.
The man's body was found in the garage of the house, which contained flammable material including racing fuel, Guenther said.
The dead person's name wasn't released to the media because he hasn't been positively identified.
"Further testing will need to take place," Guenther said.
Police will try to use fingerprints to confirm the man's identity, Guenther said. The body was burned beyond recognition, officials have said.
The person was believed to be part of a family living in the house on the 900 block of Killarney Pass Drive.
A second resident, Phillip Thomason, was critically injured and was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
Neither a suicide note nor a weapon was found, Guenther said. Police believe the residents argued shortly before the house exploded about 11:30 a.m., Guenther said.
The initial explosion occurred in the garage of the house, authorities said. Investigators have ruled out any connection to a natural gas explosion.
Neighbors reported hearing multiple explosions. Evidence supports those accounts, Guenther said.
The blast jolted neighbors for blocks around and led them immediately to run outside to see what was happening.
One woman said it sounded like a cannon firing.
"I saw the roof in the back blow up about two feet, and the front of the house blew out," Annette Bracco said.
Smoke billowed high into the air. Debris from the house was strewed all over the Loch Lomond neighborhood on the village's north side.
The Mundelein Fire Department received approximately 30 calls reporting an explosion. Firefighters from about a dozen departments helped put out the resulting blaze.