Updated: February 25, 2013 12:57PM
Empty house burns: Elgin firefighters battling a house fire Wednesday had to enter the second story of the vacant home through its windows because the stairway had collapsed, said Fire Capt. Dick Cummings. No one was injured in the fire, which was reported at about 2:30 p.m. at 480 Hickory Place, on the city’s east side, Cummings said. On arrival, firefighters found flames coming from the rear of the house, described as a two-story home with attic dating from the early 1900s, Cummings said. No one was living in the structure, Cummings said, and several first-floor windows had been boarded up with plywood. The fire is believed to have started in the basement and extended through the walls, causing heavy damage to the first and second stories as well as the attic. It took firefighters nearly 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze, and firefighters remained on scene for nearly 2½ hours. As of Wednesday evening, investigators were searching for the cause, he said. Damage estimates were not immediately available.
Holy water fonts stolen: An Elgin man is charged with felony counts of burglary to a house of worship and theft to a house of worship, and one misdemeanor count of theft. Daniel A, Wells, 43, of the 300 block of DuPage Street, is accused of stealing two brass holy water fonts from St. Joseph Catholic Church, 270 Division St., on Jan. 14. According to police, Wells took the fonts, valued at $1,000, from the main entry of the church. Police said he entered the church through a side entry and walked toward the main entry, where he forcibly removed the holy water fonts from the wall. He then went to a local recycling facility, where he sold the fonts for cash, police said. He was being held for Thursday bond call.