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Kerosene heater apparent cause of Antioch garage blaze

Antioch fire Department extinguishes garage fire located 39474 Hickory Avenue Antioch Township. | Adam  Zakroczymski Antioch Fire Department

Antioch fire Department extinguishes a garage fire located at 39474 Hickory Avenue in Antioch Township. | Adam Zakroczymski Antioch Fire Department

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Updated: February 5, 2013 6:34AM

ANTIOCH TOWNSHIP — Fire destroyed a large garage and set off a propane tank inside causing about $25,000 worth of damage Thursday.

The homeowner was burned when he tried to douse the flames with a garden hose.

Jeff Willemarck, called 9-1-1 to report his detached two-and-a-half car garage was on fire around 1:47 a.m. Thursday.

Firefighters arrived at 1:57 a.m. at the home at 39474 Hickory Ave. in Antioch Township, and the owner told them when he called there was a propane tank, a kerosene heater and kerosene inside the garage, along with huge piles of firewood.

The propane tank blew just before fire crews arrived, said Antioch Fire Chief John Nixon.

He said the garage had quite a bit of fire showing when fighters arrived.

The first engine on the scene hit the fire with water to keep it from spreading to the house just 20 feet away. The second engine went to the back of the building and hit it with a foam line that smothered the fire pretty quickly. Nixon said firefighters used about 12,000 gallons of water.

Tanker trucks from Lake Villa and Fox Lake departments assisted, and Newport and Spring Grove departments also responded.

Damage was estimated at $25,000 for the large garage. Firefighters were on the scene until 4:38 a.m. breaking up hot spots in all the firewood stored inside. The cause is believed to be from a kerosene heater that was inside the garage. There were no vehicles in the garage.

The homeowner did suffer from some burns on his arm as he tried to keep the flames from spreading to the house with a garden hose.

He signed a release after being treated on the scene by paramedics, Nixon said.

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