http://s10.zetaboards.com/The_New_Coffe ... &t=9011708
I was able to resurrect the pics:
And here's a higher quality photo:
Well, on Thursday evening, this happened:
wrote:The last historic home left standing burned to the ground during the early morning hours of June 28, ending for good any speculation about whether it or any part of it would be saved for posterity.
Firefighters were called at about 1:50 a.m., according to Fire Chief Gordon Nord. By the time engines arrived, the house was completely engulfed in flames, he said.
Because the house has been vacant for more than a year and the protective metal shutters over the house's lower-floor windows appeared not to have been breached, firefighters concentrated on putting out the blaze from outside.
"There was no apparent sign that anyone got in, and even so, at that point, we deemed it as a defensive fire from the get-go," Nord said.
Firefighters made sure to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby trees in the heavily forested area and protected the inhabited house that sits just south of there.
Nord said the fire was being investigated by the Illinois State Fire Marshal and Cook County Sheriff's Police. While no cause has been announced, officials have not ruled out that it may have been set intentionally.
"We find it suspicious, being it was a vacant house on fire," Nord said.
The house still had live electrical service, Nord said, but the natural gas line had been disconnected.
Once investigators wrap up their work, said Nord, he will ask the Cook County Land Bank, which owns the home, to knock down the hazardous stone walls that remain standing.
"My main concern is the safety of citizens that will pass this house," Nord said.
Several agencies responded to the blaze, including firefighters from surrounding suburbs.
Kathie Schaefer, whose home is about a half block south, said that about an hour before learning of the fire she had heard loud bangs, like doors slamming. She went outside to check on her garage to make sure it was secure, but she didn't notice anything out of the ordinary at the time.
A car she heard speeding southbound on her street around that same time also did not seem particularly suspicious, said Schaefer, since the remaining handful of abandoned homes in the neighborhood were attractive nuisances.
The house at had attracted vandals in the past. Paint had been thrown around the interior by someone who managed to get inside at one point, and the house had also been tagged with graffiti and had rocks thrown through its windows.
Another house still yet to be demolished, a block to the east, is fenced off, but the overhead garage door appears to have been forced open, allowing easy entry.
"We get a lot of cars and activity back here at night," Schaefer said.
About an hour after "door slams," Schaefer said she heard something that sounded like glass smashing. It was the sound of windows blowing out of the house as it went up in flames.