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updated: 2/16/2014 11:36 AM

Burning Christmas tree causes Gurnee area house fire

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An attempt to dispose of Christmas tree remains led to a house fire in the Grandwood Park subdivision near Gurnee Sunday morning, authorities said.

Gurnee firefighters called to a fire at 6:37 a.m. in the 36400 block of North Streamwood Drive found fire coming from the attic space and exiting through the roof of the residence. The scene was cleared by about 7:45 a.m., officials said.

Gurnee Fire Battalion Chief John Skillman said an investigation shows that a resident was burning the parts of a natural Christmas tree in the fireplace. It appears, he said, that too much heat was produced in the process.

"Evergreens produce quite a large amount of heat when they burn. He was trying to gradually add it, but it still produced too

much heat for that fireplace," Skillman said.

The radiant heat, he said, would have produced the attic fire.

Skillman said utilities were restored following the fire, and the family was able to return to its home. Damage has yet to be determined.

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