This story was updated at 7:30 a.m. Sunday
Six people — including two police officers — were injured in a house explosion on Iroquois Avenue just north of Hampton Road early Saturday evening.
The house at 4835 N. Iroquois Ave. in Glendale exploded at 6:15 p.m., and two neighboring houses were significantly damaged by the flames, said North Shore Fire Department Chief Robert Whitaker. The cause of the explosion is under investigation and it could take several days to find out what happened, Whitaker said.
A man in his 80s and a woman were inside the house at the time, and were removed by citizens and a Glendale police officer. The couple suffered burns and were taken to Columbia St. Mary's for injuries. Their condition is unknown.
One of the neighbors and a passer-by who removed the two from the home also were taken to St. Mary's for non-life-threatening injuries. In addition, two police officers were treated at local hospitals for smoke inhalation, and one firefighter was treated on scene for heat exhaustion.
The extent of the damage was still unknown as of Sunday morning, but several nearby buildings had broken windows and other damage as a result of the incident.
All residents who were evacuated from their homes after the explosion have been allowed to return except those who live in the three homes that suffered fire damage, the department said Sunday.
Geza Walters, who lives three doors down in an apartment building, said he felt a "deafening boom."
"It shook the whole building," he said. "My ears hurt and my heart was racing."
The explosion was heard and felt from as far away as Port Washington Road and Green Tree Road in Glendale, Whitaker said.
Shorewood resident Scott Keller said he was driving by the house when he saw flames on one end of the house. He and another man helped the elderly man out of his recliner and got him out of the house before police arrived, Keller said.
The three-alarm fire drew fire and police crews from surrounding counties. In total, 10 engine companies, four truck companies, seven ambulances and a number of chief officers and support staff responded to the scene.
We Energies was on the scene of the fire. Whitaker said all utilities have been secured. Whitaker said the State Fire Marshal's Office is assisting in the investigation.