East Moline fire damages 2 historic buildings, results of investigation are in

A building in East Moline caught on fire on Friday, August 1, 2019. Photo by Ryan Jenkins.

EAST MOLINE, Illinois- A fire that started in an apartment spread and damaged two historic buildings.

The results of the investigation into the early August fire have been finalized.

East Moline Fire Chief Robert DeFrance says the cause of the structure fire that occurred at 1116 15th Ave, East Moline remains undetermined at this time.

The fire started shortly before noon on August 1st, 2019.

The fire originated in a second-floor apartment which then spread to the common attic and adjacent apartment on the 2nd floor. At the time of the fire, the resident of the apartment the fire originated in was out of town. Residents of the apartment building were alerted of the fire by smoke detectors in the hallways allowing all residents to evacuate quickly ahead of the fast-moving fire.

After the fire investigators from multiple agencies spent several days sifting the debris, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing video and photographs.

Officials say that the extensive damage made it difficult for investigators to determine “with certainty, the exact ignition source and material first ignited.”

An examination of the fire debris does indicate the fire originated in the living room of an upstairs apartment. The fire spread to Ed’s Used Appliance through a party wall and adjoining roof shared by both occupancies. Both historic structures were built in the early 1900’s before modern fire codes required fire stopping construction techniques to exist.

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