Barrington mansion destroyed by fire

Diane Pathieu Image
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Barrington mansion destroyed by fire
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Only the walls remain of a mansion that caught fire early Tuesday morning in northwest suburban Barrington.

BARRINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Only the walls remain of a mansion in northwest suburban Barrington after massive flames ripped through the home early Tuesday morning.

The family that lives there is vacationing in Australia. Their home was being renovated while they were gone. It is now a total loss.

The four-alarm fire woke longtime neighbor Marty Wehrle.

"I was sleeping and I noticed a bright orange glow on our walls and jumped up, assumed it was probably a fire somewhere. I jumped up to see the home next door burning," Wehrle said.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Department responded around 2 a.m. to the home on a private drive just off Cuba Road near Old Barrington Road. Fire Chief Jim Kreher said the location made it very challenging to get water to the source quickly.

"The big issue was water to the scene, since we don't have fire hydrants in this area. So we used tenders. The other part of the equation is the long driveway. We had a long layout to the house," Kreher said.

It took a lot of equipment to get the blaze under control. About 30 different departments helped out and close to 100 firefighters were on the scene. Nearly 160,000 gallons of water was used.

The fire was struck around 4:20 a.m., but crews stayed at the scene all morning to watch for hot spots.

"Terrible, yeah. Terrible. They loved their house; they were remodeling it now and they are away from home, out of the country. I feel really bad for them," Wehrle said.

No one was hurt. The state fire marshal was on the scene.