HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) – Firefighters in Highland Park worked quickly to save the home of an 87-year-old woman, while two vacant homes next door went up in flames.

Officials say a suspected arsonist was the likely culprit behind the intense situation where firefighters spent Sunday morning battling thick black smoke billowing out from three homes on Curwood near Puritan.

Firefighters doused the flames of two unoccupied homes.

Bernice Davis.

Bernice Davis watches as firefighters work to save her home.

Lieutenant Millicent McClareys tried to save the third house after seeing the distressed 87-year-old homeowner standing in shock.

“Absolutely, in the middle … of the day, on a Sunday morning for her house to just go up like that? Yeah, we need to start watching out and looking out for each other a little bit more, there is no reason things like this should happen,” said Lt. McClareys.

Lt. McClarey tells WWJ’s Kathryn Larson that the fire is suspicious:

“It’s very severe in terms of just more damage to the city,” she added.

“Seems like they got it before any smoke or anything got into it,” said 87-year-old Bernice Davis, whose house was saved from the spreading blaze by firefighters. “I was cooking and somebody came and knocked on my door,” she said. “A tall young man said ‘a house next door is on fire,’ I said, ‘what?'”

No injuries have been reported and the fire remains under investigation.


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