No injuries in electrical fire at NIU’s Wirtz Hall in DeKalb

Fire behind break room fridge reported inside NIU College of Health and Human Services

DeKALB – DeKalb firefighters were called to an electrical fire inside a Northern Illinois University building shortly before midnight Wednesday at Wirtz Hall, authorities said.

Crews from the DeKalb Fire Department responded to a fire alarm sounding around 11:47 p.m. to the 300 block of Wirtz Drive, inside Wirtz Hall which houses NIU’s College of Health and Human Services, according to a news release from the fire department.

NIU police first on the scene told firefighters that there was smoke inside the building. When crews arrive, they did not find any showing from outside. But once inside Wirtz Hall, they saw heavy smoke in the interior hallways, according to the release.

A fire was located in a break room, according to the news release. Firefighters had to force their way through a locked door where they saw flames coming from behind a refrigerator in the room, authorities said.

The fire was brought under control about 15 minutes with a fire extinguisher, according to the release.

Crews remained on the scene for an hour and a half.

No injuries were reported. The building was searched and ventilated.

Authorities reported about $15,000 worth of damage to the building, according to the release.

Crews from DeKalb police, and Sycamore, Cortland and Genoa-Kingston Fire Departments assisted.

It’s the second electrical fire reported at NIU in less than a month. An unrelated electrical fire was reported in the basement of NIU dorm Stevenson Towers April 19, authorities said. No injuries were reported in that incident either.

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