A major fire department response has been requested after a gas leak caused an explosion that leveled a structure and caused a four-alarm fire in Woodstock Monday afternoon.
The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded around 12:35 p.m. Monday to the 200 block of Washington Street in Woodstock for a report of a gas odor in the area.
Firefighters arrived and learned the natural gas odor was originating near St. Mary Catholic Church and School in the area of Lincoln Avenue and Tryon Street.
Fire crews reported public works had struck a gas line and a sewer line.
Nicor Gas was notified and was requested to expedite to the scene.
The fire district said in a social media post around 1:25 p.m. that crews remained on the scene of the gas leak.
Tryon Street was shut down between Washington Street and Judd Street.
The church was evacuated and surrounding homes had been advised to shelter in place, the fire district said in the post.
Nicor Gas crews arrived around 1:10 p.m., 35 minutes after the initial call of the leak.
The fire department remained at the scene around 2:35 p.m. standing by while Nicor Gas worked to mitigate the leak.
The incident commander at that time reported an explosion occurred and a structure collapsed, according to fire department radio traffic. An active fire was also reported.
Dozens of residents in the Woodstock area reported feeling the explosion.
“We’re on the square working and it shook the entire building and knocked stuff down. Felt like the windows were going to break. Absolutely insane. I smelled gas around 10 am this morning,” one person told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
Authorities have not confirmed whether any injuries or fatalities have been reported.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the second alarm level and later upgraded to the fourth alarm level for numerous fire departments to respond to assist.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.