Woman and Boy Killed in Arlington Heights House Fire on Park Street, Father Dies Next Day

Video of fire scene just after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at 105 East Park Street, Arlington Heights.

UPDATE (June 3, 2009 3:30 pm):

Arlington Heights police confirmed Wednesday afternoon, after Kevin Finnerty, 46, died at 4:40 a.m., that he killed his family and was the cause of his own death. Investigators found a gasoline can in the master bedroom. A suicide note was also found. Details of the content of the note have not been released, but police are describing the tone of the note as discouragement over “general issues of the times” and “financial issues.”

House Fire Kills Patricia Finnerty and Son Garret Finnerty in Arlington Heights Home; Husband Kevin Finnerty Seriously Injured with Burn Injuries

Details on family and investigation, see Arson Investigation at Kevin Finnerty Home Where Wife, Son Died in House Fire …

Arlington Heights Fire Department firefighters worked to rescue a family of five from a house fire overnight at a home in the 100 block of East Park Street. One young boy was rescued from the roof of the house just after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. Before arrival of firefighters, a 12-year-old girl went to a neighbor’s house to report the fire to 9-1-1 and get help. The fire was noticed by the girl in a bedroom and hallway. During her call for help, she added that her brother was on the roof.

When the first Arlington Heights police officer arrived on the scene, he reported smoke from the second floor. Firefighters arrived quickly and performed a search inside the house, and firefighters from Tower 1 rescued the boy on the roof. At least two victims were found inside the house. Firefighters suspected trauma injuries on one of the victims discovered, and notified fire command that the fire scene might be a crime scene.

Firefighters were performing CPR and advanced life support for one fire victim on the parkway near the corner of Park Street and Evergreen Avenue. That person was then rushed to an awaiting ambulance and transported to a hospital. The Cook County medical examiner’s office is reporting that a 41-year-old woman and an 11-year-old boy were killed in the fire. A third person was seriously injured. More details are expected later today.

The fire, which appeared to be on the second floor, was extinguished within 15 minutes.

At 5:15 a.m. the State of Illinois Fire Marshall was on the scene investigating with the Arlington Heights Fire Department and Arlington Heights Police Department. Arson has been mentioned as a possibility as a cause of the fire.

Mount Prospect Fire Department, Palatine Fire Department and Rolling Meadows Fire Department assisted Arlington Heights Fire Department at the fire scene. Mount Prospect Fire Department and Palatine Fire Department each sent an ambulance for staging, and Rolling Meadows Fire Department sent an engine with their firefighters working with Arlington Heights firefighters. Buffalo Grove Fire Department and Elk Grove Fire Department each sent an ambulance to an Arlington Heights fire station to provide coverage for the rest of the community of Arlington Heights.

Park Street, west of Arlington Heights Road was blocked for an extended period of time Tuesday morning, Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Bridget & Pierce Finnerty

Jennifer Murphy,
“Guardian of the Finnerty Children”
Village Bank & Trust
311 S. Arlington Heights Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

View 2007-09 Arlington Heights Fire/Rescue Operations in a larger map


  1. Do you really have video of the Firefighters administering CPR to who I presume is one of the people that died? Take that down. This is not TMZ.

  2. Thank you. Much more info than is available on the other news outlets. It’s a sad occurrence. Peace to the family and friends. Tragic. Hug your kids and loved ones.

  3. I’m sorry, there really should be a warning about the video. I think most would find it disturbing and that there should be a disclaimer. Shame on you.

  4. I find your video disturbing and in very poor taste. I would never want to have my children see such a sight as having CPR administered.

    Admin – everyone is different. What may be helpful for one person may be profoundly upsetting for another. Who are you to decide?

    You should be ashamed.

  5. How awful that this video is up, that is someones family member. Hopefully, it will get pulled from YouTube as well. There are surviving children who won’t want to see this video and know it is up for all to see the rest of their lives. Having a red see though box doesn’t make it any less tacky.

    Matt my heart, prayers and thought go out to you and your family.

  6. That was a High School friend that passed away… I spent the entire 8 minutes sobbing for her family. Even all the way out her in New Jersey I found this shocking and disrespectful to her and surviving children.

    *A question to the Admin-how would you react to seeing a friend from years past in her dying breath? Everyone is different? That may be the snap answer by your staff until it is someone they knew or had that real heart ache moment like I just did.

    As a side note, I will contact YouTube as well in the graphic content of this video and how disrespectful its content is. These children will never heal from this event until this type of media comes to a hault.

  7. I am an ER nurse and even I was absolutely shocked that the video showed EMS performing CPR!! Very poor decision to post this. My heart breaks for this family.

  8. Imagine a world where nobody cared to even turn their heads and look at this tragedy. Or worse that its story or images would be censored by a highly restrictive government — and its people left in the dark about what happened or were misled by a false account of what happened. The video tells the truth. Nobody can say the firefighters were lazy. Nobody can make up a story that the victims were just laying unattended on the front lawn. Nobody can make up any fiction at all about these first few minutes, because there is video. Yes, people do exaggerate, and they make false statements, and they spread rumors. Sad, but this world is obsessed with misdirected blame and violence, and there’s far more fake violence on CSI with slow motion bullets or knife stabbings hitting body tissue in vivid graphics every week. And sadly people want to blame and let their emotions rule and are maladjusted as to what is real and what is make believe. So many people love “reality TV” that is nothing but glorified silliness. This tragedy is real and should be faced with determination to help survivors and mourners — not blame someone for giving visual proof and an accurate account of the facts. The shame is on those that can’t be bothered with knowing the truth, or don’t even know how to find the truth.

  9. Take this video down! As far as your “journalism” goes this is absolutely unethical and irresponsible. How dare you presume to have the right or authority to broadcast something like that- have a little respect!

  10. We are fortunate to have such professional firefighters, paramedics and police officers. Thank you to the hard working fire department and police department.

  11. You know, I was shocked by the content of the video as well. But, it does tell the truth and is a very very good warning to all of the people out there that mess around with fires, and mess around with others lives.

    Sometimes sick people like Finnerty do intend to harm, but I wonder if he would have gone through with it if he had any idea of the utter reality of the aftermath. Thankfully no first responders got hurt as well. Imagine how everyone would feel if a fireman got injured or killed by this violence.

    Perhaps this video will prevent some other disturbed sole from doing something similar.

    For those family members and friends, I hope these images serve as a protective measure for other people out there.

    The video is simply the messenger, don’t kill the messenger.

  12. My heart goes out to the survivors. As far as the people saying this is a terrible thing to post–think again. It shows the fire department trying to save a life–does anybody know if this is the Kevin or his wife or his child??? To me it doesnt kmatter now that some of the facts have come out. This was his SECOND suicide note written and he and his wife had a fight and there is a possiblity that he beat his wife cause there was trauma to her body—Im sorry folks..but what right does a human being have to take the life of his family—this guy needed professional help==he killed his wife and son and left 2 other children with out a mother,father and brother. This video shows us how fragile the human life can be..do not judge the paramedics or firefighters or even the person who took this video–this was per-meditated MURDER…..and this needs to be shown so it doesnt happen again!!! Recognize when a family member has fallen on hard times and try to help them or get ehem help but dont criticize the Cardinal or YouTube for posting this video…..the survivors already have enough to worry about…this is life people..as tragic as this was–its news!!

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Arson Investigation at Kevin Finnerty Home Where Wife, Son Died in House Fire | The Cardinal
  2. Kevin Finnerty Suicide: Gas Can in Master Bedroom, Suicide Note Found, Police Say | The Cardinal
  3. Fundraiser, Donations for Arlington Heights Fire Victims: Bridget and Pierce Finnerty  | The Cardinal

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