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House explodes in Pontoon Beach


Pontoon Beach, Ill. – Authorities say no one was killed or seriously injured in a house explosion near the southwestern Illinois town of Pontoon Beach.

A relative of the home's residents says no one was inside the 7-year-old Madison County house when it blew up about 6:30 a.m. today. A neighbor was treated at the scene after being hit in the head by flying drywall, and other homes in the area have been damaged.

Television footage showed debris strewn throughout the neighborhood, in some cases looking like snow on many of the rooftops. Witnesses say they felt the blast from miles away.

Neighbor Brad Choat - a reporter for St. Louis' KMOX radio - said he awoke to a loud sound, then saw bright orange flames and a large plume of smoke coming from where the house stood.