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April 16, 2024

The scandal that haunts Kankakee –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 10, 2020

Kankakee, IL. (ECWd) –

This article was written by Jeff P. Hutson and is reposted with permission.

We’ve heard about the scandal for months. 600+ pages of proof, evidence, and documents. Yet there is still so much unanswered about what is really going on at The Haunted Factory and ACERE (American Center for Emergency Response and Education). Why there are still children in there sweeping proven asbestos. Why ACERE under-reported their gross annual income on their form 990 tax return for 2018 as $18,915. Despite a super majority of the board of The Haunted Factory being in agreement that their fundraiser alone brought in close to $50,000 over 10 days. How the venue operated a haunted house without meeting fire code.

On September 18th of 2019 the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal inspected the property at 980 N. Hobbie Ave. in Kankakee, and that report was released 8 days later. Full report available here: Did ACERE really fix 60+ violations to the NFPA and life safety code in less than 2 weeks? The answer is no. It is unlikely that they even fixed one. While a significant amount of work went into the sprinkler system, it was never made operational due to it being a fire pump system. Which would require its own electricity service or a dedicated commercial generator[via Illinois Department of Labor]. Neither of which were furnished. It was stated by a representative of ACERE that city of Kankakee had certification of the sprinkler system being tested and working, which they did not. Nor did the Illinois Department of Labor or the State Fire Marshal [via FOIA]. In the inspection report from the Illinois Department of Labor, Full report available here: , on October 8th of 2019 it is noted that they were relying on a statement that the sprinkler system was tested and working but they were doubtful of the legitimacy of that claim. Many pictures of crumbling asbestos, hazards, and failures were also documented within the pathways of the haunted house during that inspection.

The IDOL has stated that local officials were pushing for the haunted house to pass the inspection despite their findings, stating they have seen this situation before and suggested the media and elections may. . .  Continue reading at:

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