Chase Bank in Bloomingdale on fire after car loses control and hits building
DUPAGE COUNTY - An unlikely series of events led to an explosion at a Chase Bank branch in west suburban Bloomingdale Friday night.
At 5:05 p.m., police said a drive-thru customer lost control of her vehicle due to an inadvertent mistake or a mechanical issue with the car, slamming into the bank. The collision ruptured a gas line and an explosion followed.
Because the gas line is buried, utility crews had not been able to shut off the gas as of 9 p.m. Friday night – nearly four hours after the explosion.
"It's tough," said Chase customer Kishan Patel. "Everything that I know, everything that I love, everything's in there."
Patel was one of the bank customers with safe deposit boxes inside having to look on helplessly as the fire fight raged on.
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"I came here from India," he said. "Valuables that are special to me. Some things that were passed down from my grandparents. All that stuff's in there. Stuff that's been passed through my family's history. All that stuff's in there."
The driver is fine and no firefighters have been injured so far, but this was a traumatic situation for Patel and other Chase customers with irreplaceable objects inside.
"All my documents. All my paperwork. All my parents' hard work. I'm just upset," said Patel. "I don't know what I'm feeling right now."
"Shortly after the accident, the fire started. There was an explosion at the bank and the fire protection district and other fire departments are all trying to put the fire out," said Frank Giammarese with the Bloomingdale Police Department.
The challenge, according to Giammarese, is the gas line involved is buried, so responding crews have no choice but to keep the hose on the leak, until utility crews can dig for access, and shut off the gas.
"Luckily the bank was closed," he said. "The driver was able to get out without injuries. So there was no one in the bank at that point. If there were, they were able to evacuate. The driver was not injured and was able to get away from the area."
No charges are expected against the driver. Police said the crash was unintentional or something mechanical.
Authorities tell FOX 32 it could be late into the night before they can get the gas shut off and in the meantime, they urge drivers to avoid the area, with Lake Street blocked at Bloomingdale Road.
Chase bank is also reportedly sending representatives to this location to address customers' concerns.