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Dec. 11--ALTON -- Someone took advantage of a recent fire victim's evacuation from home and stole her flame-damaged motorcycle.
The tenant, 43, told Alton police that she had seen her black 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle parked next to the heavily burned house at 1115 Milnor St., on Dec. 5.
An insurance company employee came to the home to get the motorcycle on Dec. 6 but it was gone, an Alton police report says.
She reported the theft Dec. 9.
Someone had called to report the fire at 5:39 p.m.Nov. 26.
When firefighters arrived, the 1,408-square-foot house was fully involved in flames. The department issued a mutual aid box alarm, bringing in firefighters from the East Alton Fire Department.
Firefighters were at the scene for several hours, their fire suppression efforts hampered by strong winds and cold temperatures.
The caller had said someone could be inside the house, but Alton firefighters searched the structure and found no one was at home.
There were no injuries to firefighters.
Deputy Chief Mark Harris, of the Alton Fire Department, said the fire started in the front, northeast corner of the house. Investigators in a cause and origin team from the Alton Fire Department and Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office were unable to establish the cause of the blaze but do not believe it was arson.
"It is undetermined," Harris said Tuesday. "The State Fire Marshal, in cooperation with the Alton Fire Department, does not feel it is suspicious in nature."
Records at the Alton Township Assessor's Office say the property owner is Keith Brown of Alton, although a fire official said the landlord lives in Missouri on the night of the fire.
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