TOLONO TOWNSHIP — Fire investigators may never know what sparked a fire that destroyed a two-story farmhouse early Saturday west of Savoy.
Firefighters were sent to 1000 block of County Road 800 E, about 2 miles due west of Willard Airport across Interstate 57, just after 4:30 a.m.
A person driving by saw the house on fire and called 911.
“When they got close, they could
see it was fully involved,” said Eddie Bain, spokesman for the Savoy Fire Department.
Bain said firefighters were not certain when they arrived if there was anyone living in the home.
“There was a car parked near the house that was concerning, but it turned out it was just kind of a junker,” Bain said.
Fire officials eventually learned that the home is owned by Ramiro and Antonio Aguas and is used intermittently. There were utilities connected to the house.
Bain said one of the Aguas brothers showed up while firefighters were there and said he had been at the home Friday. He was eventually able to contact the other brother to confirm that he wasn’t in the house.
“It’s destroyed. It burned to the foundation and collapsed into the basement,” Bain said. Firefighters “were never able to get inside. They used a lot of firefighting foam to cover the flames. It will smolder for a day or two.”
Bain said there were other outbuildings on the property that were not exposed to the fire, including one shed that had farm equipment inside.
Savoy firefighters got help from several area departments that tanked water to the burning home and supplied manpower. Those included Tolono, Sadorus, Bondville, Cornbelt, Ivesdale and Seymour. Bain estimated there were 30 firefighters that turned out. The last ones cleared the scene about 10 a.m.
Because of the destruction, Bain said it would almost be impossible to find a cause, but he was planning to return to the house within the next couple of days to look around.