Investigators face challenge determining cause of Ingleside fire that killed two girls

Fire investigators continue to search for the cause of a blaze that rapidly swept through an Ingleside home Thursday night, killing two young girls and injuring four other family members.

The damage was so severe, however, authorities remained unsure Sunday when or if they'll determine with certainty what sparked the deadly fire.

"With the amount of damage there was, it's still too early to tell," Fox Lake Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Brent Connelly said.

Fire investigators, as well as mechanical and electrical engineers, have been on the scene searching for both the cause and an explanation why flames spread so quickly through the home in the 35700 block of North Hunt Avenue.

A woman and her parents injured in the fire remained hospitalized Sunday at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Katie Evans was upgraded to serious but stable condition, Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Covelli said. Her parents, Scott and Dori Evans, remain in critical but stable condition at Loyola.

Her 17-year-old son, Cory Evans, was released Saturday morning from Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Daughters 8-year-old Elizabeth and 5-year-old Autumn were killed in the fire.

An online fundraiser set up for the Evans family at www.gofundme.com/f/evans-family-fire-fundraiser had raised about $168,500 from more than 3,100 donors as of Sunday evening.

In a message left on the fundraiser page Saturday, the girls' father, Teig Prickett, gave an update on his family members' conditions and expressed thanks for the support.

"I am not ready to talk about my precious girls because it hurts too much and I am trying to keep it together for my family," said Prickett, who was not home when the fire occurred. "I will truly grieve soon, but for now I must stay strong. Again, thank you to everyone. I love you all so very much."

Connelly on Sunday described arriving at the scene of the fire Thursday night and finding home fully engulfed in flames "from the ground floor all the way to the roof."

"Sometimes it awes us, the amount of fire when we arrive on the scene," he said.