Third vacant structure fire in Galesburg leaves residents feeling suspicious

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Investigators are searching for evidence to what started a fire in a vacant house on the 700 block of West South street in Galesburg.

Firefighters got to the scene a little after 9 o'clock Tuesday night following a call from a neighbor saying the vacant house was on fire.

"When we arrived there was fire both on the first and second floor," said Galesburg Fire Marshall Dan Foley. "We made a decision to go defensive which means we didn’t see any safe way to perform a search and rescue so we put hose streams outside to save any surrounding houses.”

This is the third vacant structure fire in the last two weeks for Galesburg. The first two were both on April 8, one was an electrical fire in a business downtown, the other has been ruled as arson at a vacant house on Academy Street.

Investigators are not jumping to any conclusions about the structure fires, but local residents are wondering if the two vacant house fires are linked.

"It makes me wonder how these fires got started, especially in houses that no one lived in," said Lomac Payton, a neighbor to the fire on West South street.

Police are actively following leads for the fire on Academy Street, QC Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for any tip that would lead police to an arrest on that case.

The fire department said the investigation into the house on West South street will take time, but they welcome any tips the public can give them.

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