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Fire, explosions rock Round Lake Beach neighborhood

House fire 1317 N. Beverly Drive  Round Lake Beach. | Joe Shuman~for Sun-Times Media

House fire at 1317 N. Beverly Drive in Round Lake Beach. | Joe Shuman~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 10, 2013 6:18AM

What started as a garage fire from cooking beans turned into two explosions, melted power lines, damage to homes, several other garages, and two vehicles on Beverly Drive in Round Lake Beach.

There were no injuries in the blaze that started in a detached garage at 1317 N. Beverly Drive and then spread to the home, a van and a pick-up truck parked in the driveway Wednesday, Aug. 7.

“The occupant of the home said she was cooking beans in the garage and when she returned from being in the house to check on the kids she found the stove and garage on fire,” said Fire Marshall Doug Veigler of the Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District.

The first trucks on the scene at 2:15 p.m. reported the garage was well involved in fire. That caught the house’s wood deck on fire which in turn caught the wood siding on fire and eventually it got into the attic. The house has been red tagged and is uninhabitable with water in the basement and ceiling torn out in various places where firefighters searched for fire in the attic.

A van in the driveway that contained a propane tank for a floor scrubber exploded just as the firefighters arrived and a pickup truck’s gas tank exploded as well. “I had people calling wondering what the explosion was because it rattled their windows,” he said.

In addition, there was damage to the garage and house at 1320 Beverly Drive, damage to the garage at 1315 Beverly Drive, a house and vehicle at 1320 Cherokee Drive, and a shed at 1318 Cherokee Drive. Total damage estimate was $90,000.

Veigler said the woman told him through an interpreter that she was gone from the garage for 20 to 30 minutes. The gas stove in the garage had a kitchen cabinet next to it and in the rafters above it there was wood stored. There was also gasoline for the occupant’s lawn mower nearby.

“It was a perfect storm in that garage,” he said.

At one point, firefighters had to contend with the melted power lines that dropped into the yard and electricity had to be turned off before they could continue fighting the fire in that area.

Fire departments from Fox Lake, Antioch, Lake Villa, Gurnee and Wauconda assisted.

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