Burning Checks Leads to Fire That Does $75K Damage to Elgin Home

Reports of smoke coming from a two-story northwest suburban home turned out to be a fire that caused about $75,000 worth of damage and was started by the homeowner burning checks.

The Elgin Fire Department received a call from the neighbors of 22 S. Aldine St. about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday reporting smoke, according to a statement from the department.

Firefighters found the fire concentrated in the rear of the home but beginning to spread to the attic, second floor bedroom and detached garage, the statement said. Crews sent hose lines throughout the house and were able to bring the fire under control by 6:44 p.m.

The fire started about 30 minutes prior to the department’s arrival when the homeowner was burning checks on a wooden deck, according to the department.

He went inside once he thought the fire was out, but discovered he was wrong when he went back outside. He then attempted to extinguish the fire himself, he told fire investigators.

The rear exterior of the home suffered the most severe damage and the interior “sustained moderate damage on both floors,” the department said. No one was injured in the fire, which did an estimated $75,000 in damage.

The building was still considered inhabitable, according to city inspectors.

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