St. Charles fire and police departments continue to investigate the cause of a massive fire that broke out at the former Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles Saturday afternoon.
There were no injuries and the fire is contained and substantially extinguished at this time, according to a St. Charles Fire Department press release. The damage to several structures on the property is extensive.
Firefighters will remain on the scene throughout Sunday to completely extinguish all of the fires on the property, the release stated. They first arrived at the scene at 4:45 p.m. and found several buildings on fire.
St. Charles Deputy Police Chief Erik Mahan said the department has no indication of squatters or people living on the property.
“There have been some instances of vandalism, such as broken windows, over the last year or so,” he said in an email. “Our officers regularly check the property during patrol shifts and the property owner has provided for private security patrols as well.”
More than 20 area fire departments assisted St. Charles firefighters in battling the fires. The firefighters worked to cutoff the spread of the fires in every direction.
Large handlines, portable monitors and elevated master streams were used in their efforts.
Many onlookers gathered on East Main Street in front of the resort to watch the fire. The parking lot of a Walmart store across the road was packed with cars, many of which were there to watch the flames that were consuming the historic resort.
Among those were Kristen and Mike Tosaw of St. Charles, who had their wedding reception in Pheasant Run Resort’s New Orleans Ballroom 18 years ago on Sunday.
“It’s very sad,” Kristen said. “It’s sad to watch your wedding venue burn. It was a great hotel. We took our kids there when they were little just to go swimming. I think it’s a sad ending to a place that’s been so much a part of this area.”
As a kid, Mike Tosaw, who grew up in Aurora, would go to Pheasant Run for Easter buffets, he said. And as a football coach at St. Charles North High School, he would hold coaching clinics at Pheasant Run.
“I’m sad to see it go,” he said.
It’s unclear what caused the fire, or how many buildings on the property were involved, as authorities did not release details on Saturday night.
Large plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the former resort on East Main Street.
Police had been diverting traffic around the area for several hours into Saturday night.
Pheasant Run closed its doors in March of 2020 after a failed attempt to auction the resort. In November, the St. Charles City Council’s Planning and Development Committee recommended approval of a zoning map amendment and preliminary plat of subdivision for the proposed Pheasant Run Industrial Park.
GSI Family Investments of Arizona purchased the Pheasant Run Resort golf course from the DuPage Airport Authority for about $11.3 million and proposes to build four industrial buildings encompassing more than 1 million square feet of space along with 13 acres of stormwater detention. The 84.6-acre golf course is south of the former Pheasant Run Resort buildings, adjacent to DuPage Airport.
McGrath Honda is redeveloping the former Pheasant Run Mega Center adjacent to the property.