Friday Evening Vehicle, Mattress Fires Deemed Suspicious

By Jeremy Coumbes on December 9, 2023 at 3:54pm

A minivan is a total loss this morning after what turned out to be a pair of suspicious fires in Jacksonville Friday night.

A Jacksonville Fire Department crew responded to a residence located at 434 Sherman Street at approximately 5:15 pm for a call of a vehicle that was on fire.

Firefighters arrived to find a 2004 Chevrolet Venture van parked behind the house with the interior fully involved with fire. They were able to quickly extinguish the blaze, and according to the incident report, it was discovered that a nearby mattress, which was lying next to a plastic garden shed, was also on fire.

Officials say upon investigation, the underside of the mattress was on fire and also had to be extinguished. Upon further investigation, it was found that the van did not have a car battery in it and there was no damage to the engine compartment. The damage had been contained to the interior of the vehicle.

Fire Department officials also noted that the mattress was approximately ten feet from the vehicle with no indication they were part of the same fire.

The incident has been deemed suspicious by the Jacksonville Fire Department and is currently under investigation by the Jacksonville Police Department and Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.

No one was injured in the blaze. Damages were estimated at $500.00. As of the time of the report, officials with the fire department said they had not been able to make contact with the owner of record for the van.

The case remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Jacksonville Police Department at 217-479-4630 or leave an anonymous tip with Morgan, Scott, Cass Crime Stoppers at 217-243-7300.