Community reacts to Rockford home explosion

Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 9:23 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A loud explosion rocked a Rockford neighborhood at a time when most neighbors were asleep.

Rockford resident Larry Funk sat in his living room watching TV when he heard an explosion.

“It rattled the house, the windows. I mean, I could actually feel it,” says Funk. “It was significant enough that it woke my two Dobermans up and they had to go and inspect the yard.”

Funk would discover the blast came from a home in the 800 block of 15th Ave. in Rockford, more than three miles away from his home.

“I’ve been a retired carpenter. I’ve been around some explosives where they were preparing ground for homes. And last night was louder than that.”

Now crews clean up the debris left by the explosion. Which even damaged the windows of surrounding homes.

“That stuff can be replaced. Humans can’t be replaced. But the neighborhood will be okay because we already care for each other,” says Lana McCants, who works at the Veteran’s Drop-In Center.

The exact cause is under investigation, though authorities believe it could be linked to a gas leak. Fire prevention experts urge residents to have a pro check out their utilities to prevent this from happening in their homes.

“The additives that are put into those gasses go away after a while. So it’s important to ensure you get that addressed,” says Fire Prevention Inspector Timothy Morris.

ComEd de-energizes the area so people don’t have to worry about a downed power line to keep residents safe,

“We want our employees to be safe. We want our citizens to be safe. Just stay away from it, and take the safe route.”

Rockford city council member Isidro Barrios says the city will do everything it can to help the families impacted by Wednesday’s explosion.