Suspicious House Fire in Beecher City

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Published on January 15 2014 7:29 pm
Last Updated on January 15 2014 7:29 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

An early morning house fire in Beecher City is being considered of suspicious origin.

No electrical service was active into the house located at 102 North Sweazy, just south of the Masonic Lodge in Beecher City.  Tri-County Fire Protection District Fire Chief Doug Ray said the house has been abandoned for several years, so officials are treating the fire as suspicious.  The Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire.

Ray said the fire is also considered suspicious since there were reports of vandalism in Beecher City that night.

The blaze was reported around 4am Tuesday.  Ray said the house was fully engulfed in flames and smoke was coming out of a storage building next door by the time firefighters could reach the scene.  The house and storage building were just south of the Masonic Lodge, and Ray said preserving the Masonic Lodge was their first priority.  Crews worked to move items south away from the Lodge, and Miller Oil removed a full propane tank from the scene. Ray said there was some discoloration of the siding on the Lodge, but no other damage.

Tri-County firefighters were assisted by fire companies from Shumway, Altamont and Cowden.  The fire was brought under control by 6am and the neighboring fire companies cleared the scene about 8am.  Tri-County firefighters were on scene until around 8pm, and several rekindles of the remaining materials occurred.  Firefighters were called back one more time at 6am Wednesday for another rekindle.

A Tri-County firefighter injured a shoulder when he slipped on some ice, but was not taken for treatment.