Crews Demolish Home After Intense, “Suspicious” Fire

Structure on 7300 of South Vincennes caught fire just after 1 a.m.

Crews on Tuesday morning continued demolishing a home in Chicago's Park Manor neighborhood that was gutted by a massive early-morning fire that caused a portion of the building to collapse.

The two-story building in the 7300 block of South Vincennes Avenue caught fire shortly after 1 a.m., a fire department spokesman said.

"I could see flames shooting out the front, then flames shooting out the back, and then the wall fell right over," said Steve Stopka.

Stopka noticed the fire and called 911.

The Chicago Fire Department's Larry Langford said gas cans were found were found inside the home where a small explosion appeared to have occurred.

"At this time, we are picking apart the building. We're trying to go through piece by piece to see if there's any indications that anybody may have been in there," said Deputy District Chief Dan Cunningham.

A neighbor said she believed a woman and small children lived there, but Cunningham said information that officials received indicated the family recently moved away.

No one was found inside.

Officials said the fire was "suspicious" and remained under investigation. 

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