Vacant North End House Burns a Second Time in Just Over a Year

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 16, 2023 at 6:04pm

The Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a call of a fire in a vacant house Sunday afternoon.

The call was received by West Central Joint Dispatch just before 2:00 pm Sunday for smoke coming from the roof of a vacant house at 603 North Fayette Street. According to a report by the Jacksonville Fire Department, upon arrival smoke was emitting from the soffit and attic as well as open windows on the second story.

The fire was located in the first-floor kitchen area and had extended into the bathroom above on the second floor of the house. The fire was quickly knocked down by fire crews and a search of the structure was completed. No one was inside the structure at the time of the fire. According to the report, the house had no active utilities as the gas service was off and pinned and the electric meter had been removed.

This is the second fire the house has sustained in just over a year. During the early morning hours of March 24th, 2022, Jacksonville Fire Department crews responded to the house for a fire that was located in the center of the first floor that was also quickly knocked down.

In that instance, a can of Red & Tacky spray lube had been shoved into the wall with a small burn pattern around it with no spread while the main burn pattern was found on another wall.

No utilities were hooked up at that time either however, the electrical meter was still in place but turned off. Ameren Illinois disconnected the meter following the first fire in the event of a rekindle. Jacksonville Police said at that time, they beveled the house had been vacant for approximately two years

The March 2022 fire fell into the middle of a string of suspicious fires all in the north and eastern end of the city, between May of 2021 and September of last year.

Crews were on scene Sunday for a little under an hour and a half. No cause of the fire was determined during the initial investigation, however, it has been deemed suspicious in nature and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on this or any other suspicious fire is asked to call the Jacksonville Police Department at 217-479-4630, or Morgan, Scott, Cass Crime Stoppers at 217-243-7300.