AP NEWS

Overnight fire destroys historic Masonic temple in Aurora

October 8, 2019 GMT
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Firefighters pour water from above as smoke continues to rise from the historic Lincoln Masonic Temple building on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 in downtown Aurora, Ill. The fire started the night before seriously damaging the 1920's-era building. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP)
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Firefighters pour water from above as smoke continues to rise from the historic Lincoln Masonic Temple building on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 in downtown Aurora, Ill. The fire started the night before seriously damaging the 1920's-era building. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP)

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — An overnight fire in the city of Aurora has destroyed a historic Masonic temple that was abandoned more than a decade ago.

The fire began around 10 p.m. Monday in the Lincoln Masonic Temple in the Chicago suburb about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Chicago.

A portion of the building collapsed onto power lines, cutting power to some homes as firefighters worked to douse the flames.

Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz tells WLS-TV the building’s structural integrity was a big challenge for crews.

The 50,000-square-foot building was built in 1922 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

It’s been empty since 2008, when it was last used as a banquet hall. Aurora officials then shut the building down due to potentially hazardous conditions.

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Information from: WLS-TV.