Arson suspected at former Presbyterian Church
By Kendra Hennis
Tuscola Police Chief Craig Hastings confirmed that arson is suspected with the large fire that destroyed the former vacant Presbyterian Church/Castle Mall at 202 S. Main Street on Saturday evening in Tuscola.
Tuscola Fire Department was dispatched at 5:41 p.m. to the corner of Wilson and Main streets due to a report of flames and smoke coming from the building. Firefighters arrived on scene to find heavy smoke and fire conditions. It was noted that upon confirming the structure was not suitable for interior attack, members began defensive operations of getting down the flames. Crews remained on scene until 10:58 p.m. and returned early Sunday morning to extinguish a minor hot spot.
Mutual aid was provided to TFD by Arcola Fire Protection District, Arthur Fire and Ambulance, Arrow Ambulance – Tuscola Division, Atwood Fire Protection District, Camargo Countryside Fire Protection District, Pesotum Fire Protection Districts, Tolono Fire Protection District, Villa Grove Fire & Rescue, Douglas County EMA, Tuscola Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Ameren Illinois, and the City of Tuscola.
Hastings stated that multiple juveniles have been interviewed regarding their possible involvement with the fire, but at this time no arrests have been made. Hastings additionally noted that the juveniles are not suspected in connection with any other recent fires.