Building on fire at Fifth and Maple - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Coverage of the Fifth and Maple fire as it developed

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Fire at Fifth and Maple on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson) Fire at Fifth and Maple on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Firefighters work the scene of a fire Thursday afternoon at Fifth and Maple. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson) Firefighters work the scene of a fire Thursday afternoon at Fifth and Maple. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Smoke from the fire can be seen from Fifth and Vermont downtown. (H-W Photo/David Adam) Smoke from the fire can be seen from Fifth and Vermont downtown. (H-W Photo/David Adam)
Quincy firefighters battle a monstrous blaze at the former Anna Brown Home Thursday afternoon at 1501 N. Fifth. The five-alarm blaze began around 5 p.m. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson) Quincy firefighters battle a monstrous blaze at the former Anna Brown Home Thursday afternoon at 1501 N. Fifth. The five-alarm blaze began around 5 p.m. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Neighborhood residents cover themselves against heavy smoke and ash as Quincy firefighters battle a monstrous blaze at the former Anna Brown Home Thursday afternoon at 1501 N. Fifth. The five-alarm blaze began around 5 p.m. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson) Neighborhood residents cover themselves against heavy smoke and ash as Quincy firefighters battle a monstrous blaze at the former Anna Brown Home Thursday afternoon at 1501 N. Fifth. The five-alarm blaze began around 5 p.m. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 7:08 p.m.: "We have been checking on the property to keep it secure. I was down here this morning," Toni Hemming said. The Hemmings bought the building at the end of December and were planning to renovate it and put five living units on each floor, as well as four units in the north structure. Neal Hemming said the house had no electricity in it, so the fire was caused by someone. "We can see a window that's open, that hadn't been open," Neal Hemming said, pointing to the west side of the second floor.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 6:46 p.m.: Herald-Whig Staff Writer David Adam says that while firefighters continue to work at the fire and it remains extremely smokey, the blaze is mostly controlled at this time. The bulk of the damage is on the south side of the building, on the north side of Maple. The crowd watching the fire remains large.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 6:24 p.m.: Firefighters say the 1870s circa home at Fifth and Maple is expceted to be a total loss. Toni and Neal Hemming owned the house that burned at Fifth and Maple had hoped to rehabilitate the property for apartments. Doug Wilson reports that the Hemmings said there was a constant battle to secure the property, which had been a target for arsonists several times. "We were here one night when the police caught some kids trying to burn the new addition," Toni Hemming said.

The couple had been at the property when a group of juveniles tried set fire to a portion of a wooden structure that had recently been added at the northwest corner of the property. Quincy Police apprehended the juveniles.

"We have been checking on the property to keep it secure. I was down here this morning," Toni Hemming said.

Neighbor Shanna Willis who lives across Maple Street from the building was alerted to the fire by her cousin, Jill Bowden, who lives across the corner from the house at the corner of Fifth and Maple.

"She thought her house was on fire because of all the smoke," Willis said.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 6:02 p.m: The building is at 1501 to 1507 N. Fifth. According to the Adams County GIS website, the custodiam of the building is an equity trust company based in Ursa. (Editor's note: We later determined the owners are Toni and Neal Hemming of Ursa.) Flames are still pouring from the building. There are hundreds of people at the site watching the fire, and Quincy Mayor John Spring just arrived at the scene.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 5:55 p.m: According to the book Quincy and Adams County history and representative men Volume 1 by David F. Wilcox: The Anna Brown Home for the Aged, northwest corner of Fifth and Maple is non-sectarian, and stands for the generosity and philanthropy of Mrs. Anna E. Brown, widow of Charles Brown. They both came to Quincy in 1834, Jlr. Brown starting the first bakery in the city. He died in 1868 and his widow survived him twenty-five years. In her will she devised the old family residence, with an endowment of interest-bearing securities worth $55,000, for the founding and maintenance of a Home for the Aged. It was opened in

January 1898, under the name by which it has continuously been known. Great care is exercised in passing upon the applications for admission to the Anna Brown Home, an entrance fee of $300 being required. The result is that the institution has always stood high in character and financial stability. Among the number of its inmates are the venerable Daniel C. Wood, eldest son of Governor John Wood, and himself in his ninetieth year.

According to the Good Samaritan Home website History: 1970: On September 1, the Anna Brown Home merged with The Good Samaritan Home. The assets of the Anna Brown Home were received and the obligations to all of its residents were assumed by the Board of Directors of The Good Samaritan Home.

In March, construction began on a $1,800,000 expansion. The new buildings added 98 beds to the Home. With 32 for Sheltered Care (Anna Brown Unit), 33 for Special Care, and 33 Intermediate Nursing Care. The buildings opened in December 1973 and were fully occupied by February 1974.

THURSDAY: AUG. 16, 5:50 p.m.: Herald-Whig reporter Doug Wilson said the owners of the building were talking to the firefighters at the scene and they said people have tried to burn down the building but they always caught them in the past. Wilson said an aerial truck that was immediately west of the building had to be moved because it was too hot in the alley. He also said the roof is almost gone.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 5:42 p.m.: The building was formerly the Anna Brown Home for the Aged. There are cars parked for blocked all around the area and people lined up to watch the fire. Herald-Whig Staff Writer David Adam is on the scene and said the fire appears to be on the upper floors of the bulding. The roof is fully engulfed. He said embers and flying debris are handling everywhere, Adam said.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 5:32 p.m.: The structure on fire at Fifth and Maple is a three-story building, and flames can be seen coming out of the roof. The building is believed to have been a nursing home at one time.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 5:23 p.m.: The Quincy Fire Department has called for a third alarm for a structure fire at at the northwest corner of Fifth and Maple. Smoke is billowing out of tQuincy firefighters are hooking up the aerial truck now. We will provide updates as more information comes in.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16, 5:12 p.m.: Police scanners indicated a building is on fire at Fifth and Maple.

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