KANKAKEE — Firefighters from multiple departments fought blazes at two abandoned houses within four blocks of one another in downtown Kankakee overnight.
Kankakee Chief Damon Schuldt told the Daily Journal the first call came in at 11:30 p.m. to a home in the 100 block of North Washington Avenue.
He said the second fire call came for a boarded up two-story home in the 200 block of South Entrance Avenue.
According to a Kankakee police report, they were dispatched at 12:15 a.m.
An officer found a board covering a window on fire and the ground beneath the window wet with a possible accelerant
Both homes sustained significant damage.
Schuldt said it is possible the fires were set. The investigation into each is just starting.
Fire was shooting out of windows on the north, south and east sides of the two-story structure on North Washington Avenue, which is next to a church, Schuldt said.
The roof collapsed into the second floor and there was a partial collapse of the second floor into the first floor, Schuldt said.
The house was being renovated, Schuldt said.
Firefighters still were at the scene at 8 a.m. today dousing hot spots.
The home is located in the same block of another house fire that claimed the life of 7-year-old Ta’Niyah Hale on Dec. 26, 2015, after a hair dryer ignited bedding in the first-floor living room.