Two vacant Rockford homes go up in flames, appear to be intentionally set

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Two vacant Rockford homes, just a few miles apart, were demolished Thursday morning after both caught fire within hours of each other.

The first happened shortly after 2:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of 7th Avenue. The first firefighters to arrive on scene found heavy fire on the right side of the house. Crews extinguished the hot spots in the house until the city’s building department got there and demolished the vacant structure.

No one was hurt. Damage estimates were at $60,000.

A few hours later, in the 3100 block of 8th Street, just over two miles south of the 7th Avenue fire, a second vacant house caught fire. Crews responded around 5:18 a.m. to find a heavy fire on the backside of the house. It was brought under control within 10 minutes. A demolition crew then tore down the remaining structure.

There were no injuries. It caused an estimated $30,000 in damages.

The cause of both fires was listed as “incendiary.” They remain under investigation.

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