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'Suspicious' fire in historic Elgin Tower Building

Elgin fire officials are investigating whether arson is the cause of a small fire at the Tower Building, an art deco high-rise that has marked the city's skyline since 1929.

Someone passing by the building at 100 E. Chicago St. around 7:45 p.m. Sunday spotted flames in the lobby and called the Elgin Fire Department, according to a release from the city. Firefighters found the glass door to the building broken and fire in an open elevator car in the lobby.

The fire was brought under control within minutes, but there was smoke damage throughout the historic building, the city said.

Officials said the broken door was "suspicious" and the fire was under investigation.

The Tower Building was built in 1929 to house the Home National Bank and Home National Savings and Trust.  The last major tenant was the Elgin National Watch Company, which closed in 1965. The tower was bought by William R. Stickling in 1997 and is now managed by the Stickling Charitable Foundation, which was been working on restoring it.

The building is one of just two art deco buildings in Elgin and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, according to the foundation. | Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

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