Cause of Barrington Hills fire remains under investigation

Barrington Countryside fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a fire Saturday that gutted a Barrington Hills mansion.

Firefighters returned to the scene early Sunday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after the fire started, to prevent remaining embers from reigniting, as well as to give further assistance to the home's occupants, said Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Swanson. The collapse of the home's roof means hot spots possibly remain, he added.

"We went back out and used water with foam in it," he said.

Firefighters first were called to the home in the 0-100 block of Rolling Hills Drive at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The first to arrive found heavy fire in the rear of the building that had spread to the home's attic, officials said.

Because the neighborhood has no fire hydrants, 30 water tankers were deployed to the scene during the nearly three-hour battle to extinguish the fire. In all, 40 fire companies from departments as far away as Hebron, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, West Chicago and Arlington Heights assisted in the effort.

Flames also spread to a field behind the residence, but the brush fire was quickly extinguished, according to the fire district.

One firefighter from the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District suffered a minor injury during the response from the fire station, authorities said. He was treated and released at a hospital.

Two residents were home at the time and escaped on their own before firefighters arrived.

A neighbor said that the residents, who had been renting the home, were seen burning leaves before the fire began.

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