Fire breaks out at residential home, no residents hurt


Rachel Cormier

DeKalb firefighters reeling in the hose for their fire truck. A house fire broke out Sunday. (Rachel Cormier | Northern Star)

By Rachel Cormier, News Reporter

Editor’s note: This piece was updated at 1:33pm to include information about the death of the two dogs.

DeKALB – A house fire broke out Sunday, at 1119 South Fourth St, leaving two dogs dead and injuring four firefighters.

The source of the fire occurred in the basement of the property and was confirmed to be accidentally caused by a heat source from a press release from the DeKalb Fire Department on Monday.

The two residents who presided there were not present at the time of the fire, according to Fire Prevention Officer Thomas Conley. During the searches, firefighters found two dogs and brought them outside to revive them, but were not successful.

Four firefighters were injured, with one being brought to the Kishwaukee Hospital for treatment and later being released, while the three others only reported minor injuries, according to the release.

The property was smoking when passersby called the DeKalb Fire Department at 6:52 p.m. who quickly arrived at the location while the DeKalb Police Department blocked the road.

DeKalb Police sent out a post on its Twitter at 7:42 p.m., warning DeKalb residents to avoid the area of South Fourth Street and Tyler Street where the property was located.

The outside of the property was mostly undamaged aside from holes punctured in the roof by firefighters to allow hot gas and smoke to escape through the ventilation. The front door of the house was kept ajar after it was kicked in, revealing ripped apart walls where hidden fires had spread and needed to be exposed.

“When we got here it (the fire) was in the walls where it’s hard to find,” said Donald Faulhaber, deputy fire chief of operations. “You got to take the building apart to find it.”

The resident’s relatives appeared shortly after the fire was put out, along with neighbors investigating the street illuminated by emergency vehicle lights.

Tears were shed as the relatives and neighbors stood in silence, staring at the property. Many neighbors embraced as a few went inside the extinguished house to retrieve surviving objects, bringing them outside to view in the light.

The two displaced residents who lived there are receiving assistance in the meantime by the Red Cross while their house was determined uninhabitable due to damages.