Fire results in estimated $20K of damages


Firefighters battle an electrical fire at 414 Prospect St. in DeKalb Tuesday morning.

By Shaun Zinck

DeKALB | The DeKalb Fire Department is investigating an electrical fire that occurred Tuesday morning just one block from city hall.

Police received a call at 10:31 a.m. on Tuesday about an electrical meter on fire at a house located at 414 Prospect St., said DeKalb Fire Chief Bruce Harrison.

According to a press release from the fire department, police were called about wires smoking in an alley. Before firefighters arrived on the scene they were told the meter on the house was smoking and on fire. The fire’s origin was reported to be the front left corner of the house below the meter base where the wires entered the home, the release stated.

Harrison said firefighters got the flames under control within 10 minutes but had to wait for ComEd to cut the power to the building before they could extinguish it completely. According to the release the fire was extinguished in 45 minutes. Harrison said the damage was estimated at $20,000.

Fire departments from Sycamore, Malta and Cortland were also on the scene and provided assistance, the release stated.

Harrison said no one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

He said he did not know how many residents occupied the house.

Rona Hardt, media relations and development coordinator for the DeKalb County Red Cross, said the two occupants were house sitting for the residents at the time of the fire. She said they did not require any assistance from the Red Cross.

Harrsion said the owner of the property had made contact with the tenants of the house.

Hardt said the Red Cross offers mainly financial assistance when necessary.

“It really depends on where the damage happens, whose effected and what is needed,” Hardt said. “If the fire happened in the kitchen we would provide them with a credit card to buy food. If it happened in a bedroom we would help them buy shoes or clothes.”

Dean Richardson, emergency services director for the Red Cross, said he arrived on the scene around 11 a.m. and spoke with the owner of the house. He said the occupants had made arrangements to stay with relatives and did not need any assistance from the Red Cross.