Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house in Madison County to explode early Thursday morning.
"We're still following up on it," Madison County Sheriff's Department spokesman Mike Dixon said. "We're trying to establish a cause of origin. We are unable to say absolutely at this time that the situation is criminal in nature."
The home in the 7900 block of Possum Hill Road near Worden blew up shortly after 1 a.m., according to the Madison County Sheriff's Department. The house was unoccupied and under renovation at the time of the blast.
A fire official Thursday speculated in published reports that the explosion may have been caused by thieves who stole copper piping which caused a gas explosion in the house's furnace. But Dixon would not confirm it.
"That was a statement of a fire official," Dixon said. "We're not willing to say yet definitively that that's the cause."
Representatives of the Prairietown Fire Department were unable to be reached for comment Thursday at their firehouse.
Police and the Illinois State Fire Marshal continue to try to determine if the explosion, which completely leveled the home and scattered debris over a wide area, was an accident or if it was the result of foul play.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at email@example.com or call 618-239-2626.