DeKALB - A house fire in the 300 block of North Fourth Street that was under control as of 5 p.m. Monday was caused by “improperly discarded smoking material,” according to DeKalb fire officials.
According to a Monday evening statement, DeKalb fire officials wrote a porch fire was reported at an apartment duplex on Fourth Street at about 4:15 p.m. Monday.
“On arrival, fire companies found fire rapidly spreading up the exterior of the building and into the porch overhang,” fire officials wrote in the statement. “Crews mounded an aggressive fire attack to limit its spread into the void spaces of the building.”
Fire officials wrote the apartments were unoccupied during the fire but “but several family pets were discovered and protected in place.” They confirmed the fire was contained to the porch area.
“Adjacent apartments were ventilated of smoke and surveyed for fire extension, of which none was found,” fire officials wrote. “The building remains habitable, and residents did not require relocation.”
Fire officials confirmed the cause of the fire, which resulted in $30,000 worth of damage, was accidental.
“Results of the fire investigation deemed the fire as accidental because of improperly discarded smoking material,” fire officials wrote.
The blaze caused surrounding roads to be closed temporarily as crews worked the scene.
A citywide text was sent at 4:33 p.m., alerting the public to the road closures, and another was sent about an hour later to notify motorists the roads were back open. Roads were closed on North Fourth Street between Pine Street and Oak Street, as well as Pine Street from North Fourth Street to North Fifth Street, according to the city alert.
DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff McMaster said there were no reported injuries of firefighter or civilian injuries. He confirmed the fire at the home at Fourth and Pine streets was under control as of 4:45 p.m. Monday.
Fire investigators assessed the scene, with DeKalb firefighters overhauling the duplex for damage.
• This story has been updated as of 9:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, 2021 to include additional information from DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff McMaster and a news release from DeKalb Fire Department on Monday evening.
Katie Finlon covers local government and breaking news for DeKalb County in Illinois. She has covered local government news for Shaw Media since 2018 and has had bylines in Daily Chronicle, Kendall County Record newspapers, Northwest Herald and in public radio over the years.