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Residents of Davenport's Gold Coast neighborhood are mourning the loss of one of the area's historic homes, the circa 1865 Andressen House, which was destroyed early Thursday in a spectacular blaze deemed "suspicious."

The home at 726 W. 6th St. was vacant and had been boarded up for years, but neighbors always hoped for a buyer who would restore it to its former beauty.

"This is really sad," Alderman Marion Meginnis, 3rd Ward, said mid-morning Thursday, standing on a sidewalk across the street, surveying what was left of the home's brick shell.

At the fire's peak, flames could be seen for blocks, including into Rock Island.

Asked what might have caused a vacant home to burn so intensely, Davenport Fire Marshal Jim Morris said, "this is what we call a suspicious fire."

"It's being treated as a criminal investigation."

Around 10 a.m. Thursday, firefighters remained at the scene, blasting water at the house to knock down unstable walls of brick.

Meginnis, who lives in the neighborhood, said she was up at 3 a.m. finishing school work when she smelled smoke and looked out a window.

"I've never seen a fire that big," she said. "I thought there were multiple homes on fire. And big, glowing embers were flowing across Gaines past our house. It was unbelievable."

The most recent owner to have worked on the home was Dustin Eastwood, who bought the property for $19,500 in October of 2012, according to the website of the Scott County Assessor's office.

Meginnis said Eastman had started repairing the roof, as bundles of shingles and a tarp had been placed there. But there was little progress. Neighbors asked if they could help, but Eastwood said he would get to it, she said.

For the past few years Eastwood had been battling cancer, and on March 30, he died at the age of 32, according to his obituary in the Quad-City Times.

He was self-employed as a home builder who enjoyed working on houses and cars, according to the obituary.

On March 27, the home was transferred via quit claim deed to Misty Lund by Chelsea Eastwood, his power of attorney, according to the assessor's records.

Lund and Chelsea Eastwood are listed as Eastwood's sisters in his obituary.

Before Eastwood bought the home, the building had six owners dating back to 1992, including a bank, according to the assessor's records.

As the home sat vacant in later years, two of its stained glass windows were stolen, Meginnis said. The owner at that time took that as a warning and removed the remaining windows, storing them in the basement.

At some point, Meginnis and her husband, Jack Haberman, bought those windows with the idea of selling them back to whomever eventually restored the house. They did not want the home's original windows to be lost from the area.

Quad-City Times​

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