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Man questioned in explosion, house fire in Oak Lawn

House ExplosiFire 8904 S. 55th Ct. Oak Lawn Saturday January 11 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

House Explosion and Fire at 8904 S. 55th Ct. in Oak Lawn Saturday, January, 11, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 11, 2014 11:04PM

An explosion rocked a quiet Oak Lawn neighborhood early Saturday, destroying a house.

Police in the southwest suburb were questioning a man who lived in the house at 8904 S. 55th Ct., where the force of the 5 a.m. explosion was so great, it blew out walls, sent bricks flying throughout the yard and damaged neighboring homes.

The police had gotten a call about an unwanted person at the home about three hours before the explosion. Officers intervened in a “verbal disagreement,” and a woman and children left for the night with some friends while a male resident stayed at the house, according to the police.

“The house is a total loss,” said John Hojek, an Oak Lawn Fire Department battalion chief, but no one was injured.

When firefighters arrived, Hojek said, “Everybody was out of the house except for [the man who lived there]. He was taken into custody.”

“As soon as I walked to the sidewalk outside my house, I could see the flames shooting out toward the stree,” said Anthony Lewis, 28, who lives about a block to the south.

The house just north of the home where the explosion took place suffered an estimated $10,000 in damage, Hojek said.

The state fire marshal was investigating.

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