"They went on a wild spree, yielding their hammers, just knocking at everything they could," said Homewood Fire Chief Bryan Rouson.
Inside Homewood Acres Volunteer Firehouse, their living quarters, offices and meeting places were ripped to shreds.
During a walk-through of the aftermath, Chief Rouson showed FOX 32 how ketchup, mustard and other condiments were splattered on walls. The chief said the group even made popcorn and watched television before snatching the TV off the wall.
The vandalism occurred Saturday. Surveillance footage shows the culprits throwing bricks, eventually breaking out all the windows, then using a tower latter to get inside.
Once in, over $100,000 in estimated damage was done. Holes were punched in the walls, furniture overturned, the bathroom shower and toilet were crushed, special photos, memorabilia and a sculpture made of remnants from Ground Zero were destroyed.
Investigators believe the vandals were inside for five hours. Fortunately, police have obtained lots of surveillance images of the four juveniles involved. Police believe their ages range from 9 to 14 years old.
Chief Rouson, who's worked in public safety for decades, called it "extremely upsetting."
"I believe they’re from the community and it’s just gonna be a matter of time before the county identifies who they are," Rouson said.
Homewood ACRES volunteer firefighters cover about two-and-half square miles of unincorporated Cook County. Neighboring fire departments are now pitching in until Homewood can become more operational.