Owners of Gold Pyramid House in Wadsworth hope to rebuild after fire

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Owners of Gold Pyramid House in Wadsworth hope to rebuild after fire
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The Gold Pyramid House in Wadsworth was severely damaged in a fire.

WADSWORTH, Ill. (WLS) -- The owners of the iconic Gold Pyramid House in north suburban Wadsworth said they hope to rebuild after a devastating fire that caused extensive damage.

"For us, it's very saddening. It's not going to stop us. Jim Sr., the man who built this home, we always say, 'What would dad do?' And he would build bigger and better," said Yolanda Fierro, the Gold Pyramid House event coordinator.

The re-building process will be harrowing.

"The ceilings had caved in on all the furniture. The artifacts that we have inside the house, the gold fixtures everything's covered with soot," Fierro said.


The 17,000-square-foot, 55-foot-tall pyramid-shaped home serves as a museum, as well as a residence for the owners who built it and filled it with Egyptian artifacts.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The family's dog, Lulu, died in the fire, officials said. Jim Onan, who built the house with his wife, is now medically challenged and in a wheelchair. He was able to escape with the help of his wife and caretaker.

At least two firefighters were hospitalized with injuries.

Construction crews were working on the six story structure when the fire started.

Officials said the design created challenges for firefighters. Heavy smoke and the unique and confusing layout caused several firefighting companies to become lost in the house. All were rescued or were able to eventually find their way out.

Jim and Linda Onan began building the home in 1977 and it was finished in 1982. The family ran tours inside for 17 years and it's become beloved in the community.

"I'd like to see it again certainly. I'd like to see it be re-built. It's just a pity that a nice guy whose done a lot for the community built this wonderful place and it caught fire and burned down," said Jeff Kostroski, who has visited the house. "It's just a shame."

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