Cause of fire that gutted Paulus Park Barn in Lake Zurich still unknown
The source of the fire that gutted the Barn at Paulus Park in Lake Zurich Saturday night remains under investigation, Lake Zurich fire officials said Monday.
Lake Zurich Fire Chief John Malcolm said it appears the fire began near the front vestibule but said officials are still looking into what caused the blaze.
The barn sustained significant water, heat and smoke damage. Malcolm said no one was injured and no one was inside the building when the blaze started.
The structure, which serves as the administrative offices for the village's parks and recreation department, remained out of commission Monday and likely will for some time. Much of the front of the building was blackened by the flames, which Malcolm said were quite high when the first fire crew arrived about 8:25 p.m. Saturday.
"They immediately started stretching water lines and were able to quickly control and extinguish the fire," Malcolm said, adding it took about 30 minutes.
The parks and recreation department canceled all of the week's events that were to be held at the barn, including the village's indoor farmers market. Recreation Director Bonnie Caputo did not respond to a call for comment Monday. According to Caputo's voicemail message, administrators have temporarily relocated to the Buffalo Creek location.
The building dates back to about 1968, according to Ela Historical Society President Ray Syverson. He said it was originally constructed as a sales center for the Old Mill Grove subdivision near the intersection of Cuba Road and Route 12.
"They had built a block of model houses, and in the middle was this building," Syverson said. "It's not a real old barn."
Syverson said the building was moved to Paulus Park in the late 1970s. The park is on property previously owned by George Spooner, one of the area's original settlers. Syverson said the building was placed near the spot where Spooner's big barn used to be.