Hillcrest Drive structure fire causes $100K in damage


Elisa Reamer | Northern Star

The DeKalb Fire Department is responding to a structure fire that broke out at 12:52 p.m. Wednesday at 1013 W. Hillcrest Drive.

By Kierra Frazier, Elisa Reamer, and Yari Tapia

DeKALB – Two DeKalb residents were displaced Wednesday after the DeKalb Fire Department responded to a structure fire that broke out at 12:52 p.m. at 1019 W. Hillcrest Drive. 

The fire was deemed an accident because of unattended cooking, according to the DeKalb Fire Department news release.

DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff McMaster said the fire broke out in the kitchen of an apartment unit located above the Northern Fresh Market on Hillcrest Drive.  The kitchen was severely damaged. The ceiling of the apartments reportedly dropped, according to the police scanner. Smoke was seen coming from the upstairs windows. 

The amount of damage was an estimate of $100,000, according to fire officials. Due to the fire and water damage, the building has been deemed uninhabitable until a safety inspection can determine which apartment units can reopen.

DeKalb City officials blocked off parts of Hillcrest Drive and Annie Glidden Road to respond to the structure fire Wednesday. (Elisa Reamer | Northern Star)

McMaster said there were no reported injuries as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

City Manager Bill Nicklas said there were 14 apartment units upstairs – seven of which are occupied – and nine commercial units downstairs. 

City officials asked residents to avoid the area in a community alert Wednesday.

The DeKalb, Genoa-Kingston, Shabbona, Sycamore and Malta Fire Departments responded to the incident. 

The American Red Cross helped the displaced occupants, DeKalb County Animal Control aided pets that were located in the fire and the DeKalb County Health Department worked with the food establishments on the ground floor.

As of 8:30 p.m. Nov. 3, this story was updated to reflect the start of the fire.