Rochester firefighters have discovered a body in the rubble of a house that exploded Wednesday night on Illinois Street.
The incident began earlier that evening at 64 Illinois in the North Winton Village area. Firefighters were called to the area just before 7:30 p.m. by RG&E crews who reported an odor of natural gas outside the home.
RG&E workers were at the site, investigating the odor and noticed a man inside the residence and they were trying to make contact with him. They said the man refused to answer his door.
A city fire truck parked several houses away from that home when arriving because of the strong odor of gas. As the crew stepped out of their fire truck, the house exploded. A second alarm was called to bring in additional crews and more than half the city’s fire resources responded. Other area fire departments were called in to help provide fire coverage in the city.
A number of homes in the area were evacuated while several small fires were extinguished. Officials say the house that exploded was dangerously unstable and had to be shored up while they searched through the debris.
The one adult home at the time of the explosion was found in the house a few hours later. It’s believed he also had a dog with him. There were no other injuries and the Red Cross was at the scene to help out as well.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. The identity of the person found in the house is pending the report from the Medical Examiner’s office.
Fire officials say the houses on either side of the house that exploded suffered extensive structural damage and will be inspected by the Rochester Building Bureau. Several other homes in the area suffered minor damage such as broken windows.
Crews remained on scene throughout the night.