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Fire destroys Frankfort home: ‘We sat on the grass and cried’

Home owner John Francke receives support hug from his neighbor Kim Quigley as they look his burned out home after

Home owner John Francke receives a support hug from his neighbor Kim Quigley as they look at his burned out home after an overnight fire in Frankfort, Illinois, Thursday, May 24, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 3, 2012 9:30AM



A noise near the back door of his Frankfort home late Wednesday night convinced John Francke that a burglar was lurking.

“I thought someone was trying to break in,” he said.

Instead, he looked out the window to see a section of his deck on fire. He and his wife exited the house while calling the fire department. There wasn’t enough time to find the family cat.

And then all they could do was watch.

“We sat on the grass and cried,” he said.

Frankfort fire officials on Thursday were continuing to investigate the cause of the fire, which destroyed the Franckes’ house and damaged a neighboring home.

The fire started outside, in the rear of the house, and the wind pushed it toward the home, Frankfort Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Larry Rauch said.

“There are several things we’re looking at,” he said as to the cause of the fire.

Gas to both homes had to be shut off because the fire compromised the gas meter on the destroyed home, Rauch said. The vinyl-sided house next door had fire damage on the exterior and water damage inside, Rauch said.

Crews were called to the Franckes’ two-story home in the 8300 block of Brickstone Drive at about 11:48 p.m. Wednesday and found the home engulfed in flames, Frankfort Fire Battalion Chief Nick Peters said. Firefighters had the fire under control within 45 minutes, but the home was a total loss, he said.



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