The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 28, 2013

Firefighters battle pair of blazes

‘Suspicious’ fires under investigation

BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Two early morning fires along East Main Street are being called suspicious by Danville public safety officials. Danville firefighters were split between dual house fires early Thursday morning — the first reported at 3:54 a.m. at 1001 E. Main St., near the intersection of East Main and Beard streets. The call for the second blaze came in at 4:30 a.m. at 13 Corrine St.

Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason said the origin of both fires is suspicious. No connection has been made, at this point, between the blazes that are about six blocks apart, according to Thomason.

He confirmed that there were no utilities going to either home, which were vacant at the time of the fires. Investigators from the city police and fire departments investigated the blazes throughout the day Thursday and were joined by representatives of the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Assistant Chief Tom Pruitt said city firefighters arrived on the scene of the first fire to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the first floor of the two-story building.

Fire personnel were in the midst of fighting the first fire when the call for the second one came in. Pruitt said he pulled two crews to handle the 13 Corrine St. fire. They arrived on-scene and found flames coming from the rear of the two-story building.

As a result of the two fires, Pruitt said 17 off-duty Danville firefighters were called in. Also, Lynch Fire Protection District and Tilton Fire Department were put on standby to handle any Danville fire calls during the two blazes.

Each fire had spread in the buildings, getting into the walls and the attics of the structures. Pruitt said it took about 90 minutes to get each fire under control.

East Main Street between Bowman Avenue and Griffin Street was closed as a result of the fire at East Main and Beard streets. Firefighters were on the scene until around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Damages were estimated at around $40,000 for each structure.