12/26/2018 11:02:00 AM Historic Hutsonville home
Fire destroyed an iconic historic home in Hutsonville Saturday night. Firefighters from Hutsonville, LaMotte Prairie/Palestine and Robinson, battled the blaze for several hours that unfortunately spread all too quickly. (Tom Compton photo)
An iconic Hutsonville house was lost to fire Saturday night.
The historic home on south side of the hill along Clover Street was owned by Pam Lawhead.
The address was 107 S. Woodlane, but the sprawling two-story house stretched for nearly half a block along Hutsonville's main east-west street.
The Hutsonville Fire Department was called to the scene at around 5:46 p.m. Witnesses reported seeing flames visible through windows and smoke billowed out the east side of the house before firemen arrived.
Additional equipment and mutual aid was requested from Robinson and LaMotte Prairie fire departments.
Arriving on scene Hutsonville firefighters set up their pumper truck next to a hydrant and quickly began pumping water into the rear of the house.
Unfortunately a live power line directly above the rear entrance to house prevented firefighters from entering. It was necessary to wait for Ameren Illinois personnel to arrive to shut off the electricity.
"You have to be safe," said Hutsonville Fire Chief Gregg Cox.
In October two Hutsonville and two West Union fireman were injured when a porch roof collapsed while fighting a fire in West Union.
A second pumper-aerial truck was setup in front of house. Handheld hose lines quickly began spraying water in the north side of the house as more hoses were connected to operated the aerial nozzle.
Despite the best efforts of the fireman, the water from the hoses seemed to have little effect knocking down the flames consuming the nearly 100-year-old home.
As minutes ticked by, the blaze seemed to grow in intensity as it spread through the house. Thick clouds of smoke billowed from the structure as its roof and chimney collapsed.
While thousands of gallons of water were used to fight the fire, rumors that the water tower was drained are false. According to village employees, who were monitoring water levels and increased pressures as best they could, the tower was never drained.
Cox, who was on scene until nearly 4 a.m., said the fire really "beat them up," and noted that there was a very small opportunity to get ahead of it.
Hutsonville fireman returned though out the day Sunday to monitor the still-smoldering fire and put out any flames that rekindled.
No one was home at the time of the fire, but four dogs are believed to have died in the fire. The house was a total loss.
No cause has been given, but it was reported that the heating system was not working correctly and electric space heaters were in use.
Family members are already organizing assistance for Lawhead.
Size 2X-3X shirts, size 7.5-8 shoes and jeans size 18 can be dropped off at Premier Auto 400 E. Main, Robinson. A Go Fund Me page has been established by Ashley Cooper. It can be found by adding Pam-Lawhead-House-Fire to the search.