Police have arrested Hitz Memorial Home resident Linda Braun, age 67, in connection with the recent fire at Hitz Memorial Home in Alhambra. On Wednesday, May 11, at about 8:45 p.m., Alhambra Firefighters responded to the fire which was confined to two inner rooms. The facility sprinkler system extinguished the fire. Damage to the two rooms is extensive and thirteen other rooms, including a common room, offices, and patient rooms suffered serious smoke and water damage.
According to information from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, shortly after 10:00 p.m., Illinois State Police received a call from Braun saying she had started the fire. Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene and spoke with fire department personnel and staff members. Deputies arrested Braun, a resident of the independent living portion of Hitz Memorial Home, who admitted she started the fire in an empty room because she was angry with staff. Deputies took Braun to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office where she was interviewed and taken to the Madison County Jail. Bond is set at $250,000.
Ten nursing home patients were displaced from their rooms due to the fire. One female employee suffered smoke inhalation while clearing patients from the area. She was treated at the scene and released and is expected to make a full recovery. No patients of the facility were injured. Damage to affected area is extensive. No estimated cost for repair is available but it is expected to be substantial.