LAKE VILLA (CBS) — Authorities in Lake Villa have released surveillance photos in hopes of solving an arson.
On Friday, police and firefighters were called to a fire in the 300 block of Wood hill Drive. When they arrived, the two-story home at that address was ablaze.
The fire was extinguished, but the home was effectively destroyed.
Audrey Opal watched helplessly as her neighbor’s house burned Friday night and hoped no one was inside.
“The flames were just eating up the side of the house,” she tells CBS 2’s Mai Martinez.
In surveillance video police have released, the man, wearing a full ski mask and hoodie, looks to see if anyone is around. Then he walks over to grab what police say is a bottle full of some kind of accelerant.
A few seconds later, he breaks a window, tosses the accelerant inside, lights a flare, throws it in and runs off. It only took a minute and a half to set the fire, but the damage effectively destroyed the home.
Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth says his department is working this case around the clock. They hope someone will recognize the man from the video or perhaps remember seeing someone or possibly a suspicious car along Monaville Road Friday night around 7:25 p.m.
Police are taking extra precautions that include extra patrols in the area. Roth says investigators have a number of leads in this case and are looking at video from nearby businesses for any possible images of the suspect.
Anyone with information to contact the Lake Villa Police Department at 847 356-6106.