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posted: 5/20/2013 5:52 PM

Naper Settlement fire ruled accidental, still under investigation

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  • Fire officials have ruled an early Sunday morning fire at Naper Settlement an accident.

       Fire officials have ruled an early Sunday morning fire at Naper Settlement an accident.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • A Sunday morning fire, of unknown origin, damaged one of the towers inside Naper Settlement's Fort Payne.

       A Sunday morning fire, of unknown origin, damaged one of the towers inside Naper Settlement's Fort Payne.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • A Sunday morning fire caused about $150,000 damage to Naper Settlement's Fort Payne.

       A Sunday morning fire caused about $150,000 damage to Naper Settlement's Fort Payne.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

Naperville fire officials have ruled the early Sunday morning fire that damaged Naper Settlement's Fort Payne building was an accident but have not concluded their investigation.

Firefighters were called to the Naper Settlement on the 500 block of South Webster Street shortly after 12:30 a.m. Sunday and had the fire under control by about 12:45 a.m.

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Deputy Fire Chief Rick Sander said the fire was caused by activities during the Civil War Days encampment taking place at the Settlement throughout the weekend but would not elaborate.

Sander said a preliminary damage estimate of the fort's elevated watchtower was set at $150,000.

Fort Payne is a reconstructed version of a fort originally constructed back in 1832 on what is now the North Central College campus in Naperville. The fort was named after Capt. Morgan Payne, who traveled from Danville to Naperville to help during the Black Hawk War, a conflict between the U.S. and a group of American Indians. The fort was dismantled and meticulously rebuilt on the Naper Settlement campus in 1979.

Settlement spokeswoman Donna DeFalco referred all questions to the Naperville Fire Department Monday but stressed the museum remains open.

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