By Charlie De Mar

CHICAGO (CBS) — Firefighters were taking part in a training exercise when they discovered a smoldering body laying in the grass. The practice drill turned into a death investigation in the 1300 block of Joliet Street in West Chicago.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports investigators are still on the scene almost ten hours after the body was found burning in a field. There are a number of boarded up homes on the abandoned property.

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Firefighters say they were scheduled to burn the abandoned houses down in a controlled burn exercise when they were called into action and made the gruesome discovery.

“Towards the end of the training, they saw some smoldering off the side. I went over and checked it out. They found the body,” said West Chicago Police Chief Michael Uplegger.

“There was a truck that pulled out of the lot early, like 5:30 in the morning, which is kind of unusual because nobody goes there anymore,” said neighbor Jim Balcerak.

West Chicago Police say the body was of an adult male. His identity is being withheld until an autopsy is performed Wednesday and the family is notified.

Investigators are expected to have the scene secured for the rest of the night.

Charlie De Mar