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Cause of McHenry fire undetermined but not suspicious, chief says

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 3:53 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 11:53 p.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman)
H. Rick Bamman – Michael Novak clears debris Jan. 8 from the Riverside Hotel apartment building at 3308 W. Elm St. in McHenry. The building was declared uninhabitable after a fire started in a three-bedroom apartment Sunday morning.

McHENRY – The apartment fire that displaced 33 residents from the Riverside Hotel in McHenry was not suspicious, the McHenry Township fire chief said.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District finished up the official report Monday night, concluding that while the cause of the Riverside Hotel fire could not be determined, it was not suspicious, Fire Chief Tony Huemann said.

The fire started around one of the chairs or couches in the living room of a three-bedroom unit at 3308 W. Elm St., which houses 40 apartments, a first-floor office and the Fox Hole Tap & Pizzeria.

There was electrical equipment in the apartment, but the fire district would have to hire an engineer to confirm what exactly started the fire, Huemann said.

Because there was no indication that the fire was suspicious, the case is closed unless new information comes up, he said.

A bank account has also been set up for those affected by Sunday’s fire.

People can donate money into the “Riverside Resident Fire Fund” at Charter One Bank at 2058 Richmond Road, McHenry. The account number is 4521532488.

Donations also can be dropped off at Corkscrew Pointe at 1402 Riverside Drive, McHenry.

All of the money raised will go to people who were displaced by Sunday’s fire and will be distributed by the McHenry County Housing Authority, said John Macrito, owner of Corkscrew Pointe.

– Joseph Bustos and Emily K. Coleman

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