Fire officials say a suspicious fire left an abandoned home burned to the ground near Crystal Lake Saturday morning. The home is on the same property where a barn burned down two years ago.
The Nunda Rural Fire Protection District responded around 9:35 a.m. Saturday to the 2000 block of Route 176 in unincorporated Crystal Lake for a call of a structure fire.
Nunda Rural Fire Protection District Communication Specialist Alex Vucha said firefighters arrived within three minutes to find a home that was fully engulfed in flames.
The large two-story house was abandoned at the time of the fire.
No fire hydrants were nearby so firefighters had to use several water tanker trucks to shuttle water to the fire, Vucha said.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System was activated to bring area fire departments to the scene.
Vucha said firefighters operated in a defensive mode by extinguishing the fire from the outside due to the rapidly changing fire conditions.
The fire was considered under control over an hour later at 10:45 a.m.
Firefighters performed overhaul operations and monitored hotspots for an additional two hours.
The house is considered a total loss and a preliminary damage estimate was not available, Vucha said.
No civilians or firefighters were injured during the incident.
Vucha told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that investigators are “actively pursuing every avenue” to determine the cause and circumstances of the fire.
He said the fire is considered suspicious based on preliminary investigations. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is assisting fire investigators.
Route 176 was closed in both directions from Valley View Road and Nish Road for over three hours.
In March 2020, firefighters responded to the same property after a large barn was found to be fully engulfed in flames.
The barn was destroyed in the blaze. It was not known whether a cause was ever determined for that fire.
Almost a dozen fire departments assisted the Nunda Rural Fire District during Saturday’s fire, including Algonquin, Barrington Countryside, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, McHenry, Richmond, Wauconda, Wonder Lake, Woodstock and Union.