The cause of the Nov. 15 Madison Street fire that hospitalized three and received an 18-department response is still under investigation nearly two weeks later, and foul play has not been ruled out, Tri-State Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Jack Mancione said Tuesday.
Mancione said the fire damaged two businesses occupying the three spaces in the building at 7580 Madison Street.
Pitch Black, a seal coat company, is where the fire began. The company occupies two of the spaces, both of which were damaged by the fire. A fitness center occupies the third space and had some smoke damage.
"Right now the building is tagged, so they can’t occupy the business," Mancione said of the fitness center.
The deputy chief said seal coat and tar emulsion from Pitch Black, along with the building itself, burned during the 75-minute fire.
The total cost of the damage is still being determined and is changing frequently.
"It increases each day the investigation continues," Mancione said.
It hasn’t yet been determined if the fire was caused by foul play, but Mancione said it is "not ruled out."
The fire, which began at around 3:30 p.m. and was extinguished by 4:45 p.m., closed a portion of Madison between I-55 and Plainfield Road for three hours on that Thursday night, and three people were transported to area hospitals.
One police officer and one building occupant were transported for smoke inhalation, and one person watching the fire was transported after taking a fall. Mancione said on Nov. 16 that all three were in stable condition.
Two occupants were removed from the building by firefighters during the fire.
Tri-State is leading the investigation.