A fire, fueled by a natural gas leak, caused extensive damage to two houses and left two families displaced from their homes in Zion Saturday afternoon.
The Zion Fire Rescue Department responded around 4:48 p.m. Saturday to the 2000 block of Joppa Avenue in Zion for a report of a structure fire.
Zion Fire Rescue Department Battalion Chief Jason Messick said crews arrived to find a house well-engulfed in flames.
The fire was spreading to the exterior of a second residence next door.
The fire eventually spread to the inside of the second residence, causing significant damage, Messick said.
A free-flowing natural gas leak from one of the residences’ gas meters was increasing fire growth and spread.
Crews confirmed that the residents and pets were no longer in either house, Messick said.
Firefighters performed an exterior fire attack after determining an interior fire attack was not safe.
Gas and electricity to both buildings were shut off and the fire was eventually extinguished.
Messick said fire investigators were called to the scene to assist with determining the origin and cause of the fire.
Nearly 30 fire personnel responded to the scene. Firefighters from Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor, Newport, Pleasant Prairie, Waukegan, Kenosha, Lake Villa, Deerfield, Round Lake and Bristol assisted at the scene.
Antioch and Libertyville fire departments covered calls in Zion.
Both homes sustained extensive damage and two families were displaced, Messick said. The American Red Cross is assisting one of the families.
No residents or firefighters were injured. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.