Marengo explosion levels 2 homes, damages 50 others

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MARENGO, Ill. (AP) -- Authorities say a northern Illinois explosion has destroyed two homes and damaged more than 50 others.

Marengo Fire Chief Bob Bradbury says officials don't believe anyone was in the two homes at the time of the explosion around 5 a.m. Sunday. He didn't have an immediate damage estimate.

Fire officials say four people were rescued from the second floor of a house next door to the destroyed homes, and two people were hospitalized with minor injuries.

They say fire from the blast damaged four homes, and more than 50 others sustained broken windows or other damage.

City officials say the explosion left 136 homes without power. Marengo High School was being used as a cooling center for affected families and their pets.

Officials suspect a gas leak was the cause of the explosion.