Due to deterioration at the Lombard Avenue home, destroyed last week by a fire, investigators are still waiting to get back in. Graham Johnston/Staff

The Oak Park Fire Department is still investigating what caused a fire last week that destroyed a house in the 800 block of North Lombard Avenue and kept firefighters at the scene until the next morning.

Battalion Chief Kevin Wiley said Monday that, due to the home’s deterioration in the Jan. 23 blaze, firefighters still can’t get in safely to investigate. He did not know how long it would be until they could get back in.

“It’s mainly up to the insurance company now,” he said.

Visible flames were seen on both floors of the home after the fire started around 4 p.m. It took about five hours to subdue, and firefighters stayed at the home through the night to make sure the blaze did not rekindle.

No one was injured, but three other people were evacuated from neighboring homes because of the threat of building collapse. Crews were seen forcing entry into one home by smashing in the front door and evacuating an elderly woman from the home on the other side. Those two homes sustained minor damage. Wiley said the residents were allowed back in on Thursday.

Wiley did not know where the home’s female owner was currently staying. She was not home when the fire started. It is still undetermined whether the fire is suspicious in nature.

Eight other municipalities assisted the Oak Park Fire Department.

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