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  • Natural Gas Explosion Damage
  • Townhome Blast Damage
  • Front Porch Roof Collapse
  • Exterior Wall Damage
  • Complete Building Collapse
  • Whole Building Collapse
  • Fire Separation Wall Bracing
Natural Gas Explosion Damage1 Townhome Blast Damage2 Front Porch Roof Collapse3 Exterior Wall Damage4 Complete Building Collapse5 Whole Building Collapse6 Fire Separation Wall Bracing7


Project: Wespark Townhomes
Romeoville, Illinois
Client: Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.
Services:  Structural Assessment and Inspection, Structural Analysis, Litigation Support, and Structural Repair Recommendations.

Structure Evaluation Engineers, Inc. (SEE)  was retained to assess a blast related damage to approximately 100 townhomes after a natural gas explosion that damaged hundreds of townhomes and single family homes. Four townhome buildings were blown away completely at the vicinity of the blast and hundreds of other buildings and homes sustained various degree of blast damage within a one-mile radius of the blast. The townhome buildings size varied from two units to six units, and they were constructed with prefabricated wall and floor systems with metal plate connected wood roof trusses.

Upon our initial walk-through, we immediately recommended emergency shoring and bracing in order to provide a safe access for close-up inspection. We performed close-up inspection of each townhome to assess damage to the structural components and determine the extent of the damage. We reviewed original construction drawings, shop drawings, product data and material information, code and regulatory requirements, and reports prepared by other engineering firms.

SEE prepared a report for the blast related damages and recommended repairs for each townhome. We also prepared a separate report for code non-compliance items. We worked very closely with the lead counsel by providing litigation support and as well as with a regional general adjuster to identify and analyze claim issues and construction defects.