All was quiet on Hagen Lane the morning after fire gutted a yellow brick house on the tree-lined Flossmoor street.
Three fir trees, unharmed by the fire, stood tall against a cloudless blue sky. Bushes outside the house were still covered with Halloween decorations.
Behind them, construction workers boarded up windows that were blown out by what some neighbors said appeared to be an explosion.
Fire officials said the cause of Saturday’s blaze is under investigation. One resident of the house was rescued from the house and taken to the hospital. Her condition is not known.
The Flossmoor Fire Department responded to the blaze on the 2000 block of Hagen at 7:50 p.m.
Assistant Fire Chief Keith Damm said Saturday that the house was already filled with flames when firefighters arrived. It took about an hour before it was under control.
On Sunday, the front entrance of the house was surrounded by debris, some of it badly charred. Books, a prayer missal, magazines, chairs, flower pots – all were evidence of the destruction inside the building.
On the east side of the house, blackened eaves sat above a row of broken windows.
One neighbor said she was out walking on Saturday night but only heard sound from the H-F football game a little more than one mile to the west. A while later, she said, her husband heard the windows from the house blow out.
Another woman, on her way home from Flossmoor Community Church a couple of blocks away, said an elderly widow lived in the house with her two daughters. The older woman was mostly incapacitated, she said, and one of the daughters served as her caretaker.
“I was in church and thought that it was like a bomb went off in that house,” the woman said. “And then I thought about places in the world where that happens all the time and how terrible that is.
“But you don’t expect this in Flossmoor.”
Photos by Tom Houlihan/HF Chronicle.
Firefighters respond to blaze on Hagen Lane (HF Chronicle, Nov. 7, 2015)