Police are asking for tips from the public in the search for two possible suspects in an arson fire that destroyed the former Just For Fun Roller Rink in McHenry.
The McHenry Fire Protection District and McHenry Police Department responded around 10:27 p.m. Thursday to 914 North Front Street for a report of a structure fire.
McHenry Police Department Public Affairs Officer Michael Spohn said several people driving by saw the fire and called 911.
According to McHenry Fire Battalion Chief David Harwood, firefighters arrived to find a large vacant commercial building heavily engulfed in flames.
The building is where the Just For Fun Roller Rink was located until it permanently closed in the fall of 2020.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the third alarm level for additional firefighters and equipment.
Harwood said that firefighters began a defensive fire attack by applying water to the building using deck guns on several fire engines, the aerial devices on three ladder trucks, and several large diameter hose lines.
High winds out of the north hampered firefighting efforts by fueling the fire, Harwood said.
The fire was mostly extinguished by around 3:30 a.m. Friday. No injuries were reported.
Police closed Route 31 in front of the business until around 6:20 a.m. Friday, Spohn said.
The McHenry Fire Protection District was assisted by 17 other fire departments at the scene and to cover calls in McHenry.
Harwood said the fire is considered suspicious, adding that the building was a total loss and collapsed. A damage estimate was not immediately available.
Spohn said that a witness reported seeing two subjects in the area around the time of the incident. It is unknown if the subjects started the fire or not.
Accelerant detection canines were seen at the scene Thursday evening sniffing the area.
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, McHenry Police Department and McHenry Township Fire Protection District is investigating the fire.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Division of the McHenry Police Department at 815-363-2599.
Those wishing to pass along anonymous information are encouraged to call the McHenry Police Department’s tip line at 815-363-2124. All calls made to the tip line are anonymous as the Caller ID is not used.