Weekend Suspicious Fires Set on JDC Grounds

By Benjamin Cox on June 30, 2020 at 12:24pm

Suspicious fires continue to occur around Jacksonville. The former Jacksonville Developmental Center grounds had two over the weekend that remain under investigation.

The call for the first fire came in around 6:07 a.m. Friday, when Jacksonville fire crews responded to an area near the north door to JDC’s Bushnell Building beside Community Park. Fires had been set in dumpsters in four separate areas around the building according to Jacksonville Fire Department reports. A piles of leaves was also on fire in front of the former entrance to the building. The burning leaves caused plywood covering the glass door to catch on fire. Crews were able to extinguish all the fires and the building sustained no damage, but the plywood covering the door was damaged and had to be removed and replaced. Estimated damage costs were approximately $200.

The second incident occurred at 10:54 p.m. Saturday at the Bowen Building. Crews found a small fire on a loading dock in the building’s northeast parking lot. Fire department reports said that a broken up pallet and weeds were used to light the fire. It took crews approximately 30 minutes to extinguish the fire, which did not extend to any portion of the building.

J.L.L., the JDC property manager for Illinois Central Management Services, Jacksonville Police, and the Jacksonville Fire Department are all currently watching the area and pursuing an investigation into the fires.

The fires on the JDC campus come after 3 suspicious blazes over the last two weeks in Jacksonville that remain under investigation by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall.