Fire called suspicious claims vacant Griggsville house slated for demolition

Posted: Aug. 23, 2012 9:57 pm Updated: Sep. 13, 2012 10:14 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

GRIGGSVILLE, Ill. -- A fire Thursday night that an official called suspicious destroyed a vacant Griggsville house slated for demolition.

Firefighters were called to the two-story house at the corner of Bickford and East Quincy at 7:21 p.m.

"The city was going to have it pushed in later this week or the first of next week for us to burn anyway," Griggsville Fire Chief Larry Bradshaw said. "Somehow it got on fire ahead of us. All the utilities were off, so it's obviously suspicious."

The structure was fully involved, with fire coming out of the roof and windows, and "essentially fell in" within a minute of when firefighters from Griggsville and North Pike arrived, Bradshaw said.

Around 20 firefighters from the two departments worked to save neighboring homes from damage. No injuries were reported.

"The house is essentially in the basement. We'll let it burn, so it can consume itself," Bradshaw said from the fire scene Thursday night. "We're just mopping up a couple of hot spots. There are some trees close by, and we want to make sure everything is all good and wet."

The house was probably a century old and had been vacant for "quite some time," Bradshaw said.

The state fire marshal will not be called because "it was so far gone, there's nothing to investigate. There's no question it didn't start on its own ... but we'll save the state a little money," he said. "We'll save the neighbor's houses and not have to come back and do this at a later date."