Several rounds of target practice ammunition stored in the garage exploded during an early Tuesday house fire near West Chicago, but firefighters had been warned and no one was injured by them.
Firefighters spent an hour bringing the blaze under control at a home on the 29W100 block of Hill Court in unincorporated DuPage County, the Bartlett Fire Protection District said. Crews responded after receiving the call at 7:38 a.m.
Paramedics took one victim to a hospital with smoke inhalation, fire officials said. The American Red Cross was called in to assist the family.
The blaze started in the home's attached garage, which had cars inside. Flames spread to the walls and damaged two vehicles parked outside the garage, as well as a motor home.
The homeowner alerted firefighters that he stored ammunition in the garage for target practice, a spokeswoman for the DuPage County sheriff's office said.
Besides dealing with the exploding rounds, a lack of nearby fire hydrants also hindered firefighters, fire officials said. They brought portable water tanks to the scene.
Neighbor Keith Steel said the homeowner drove out before the fire Tuesday to run errands and pulled the car into the garage after returning.
However, Steel said, the vehicle caught fire after it was parked.
"We tried to push the car out of the garage before it spread to the walls, but the smoke was so bad, we couldn't find the keys for the car," Steel said. "We grabbed our fire extinguishers and tried to put the fire out, but it spread too fast and we had to back off and wait for the fire department."
The fire's cause remains under investigation and the damage left the home uninhabitable. A damage estimate wasn't available.
The Bartlett Fire Protection District was assisted at the scene by firefighters from Roselle, Elk Grove Village, West Chicago, West Dundee, Carol Stream and Hanover Park.