Fire marshal investigating after 2 killed in house explosion

FAIRMOUNT, Ill. (AP) — Fire officials in central Illinois say two people are dead after an explosion leveled a home leaving debris and a basement covered by 5-feet of rubble.

The blast happened Tuesday morning outside Fairmount, a Vermilion County village with 620 residents. Fairmount Fire Chief Dave Ferber says as many as 50 firefighters extinguished the blaze, which sent up a column of smoke that could be seen from miles away. The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause.

Ferber says the blast “blew the house completely apart.” Ferber says there was one person living in the home and another person was possibly in the home as well at the time of the explosion.

The Vermilion County coroner’s office hasn’t yet identified the victims.

Fairmount is about 25 miles east of Champaign.