Fire leaves DeKalb home uninhabitable, causes $70k damage

March 26, 2019

DeKALB – A fire Tuesday at a home in the 100 block of Warren Place caused about $70,000 in damage and left the home uninhabitable, fire officials said.

Two children who were home when the fire started around 12:30 p.m., but they were able to ecscape along with the family dog and call 911, DeKalb Fire Lt. Chris Ziola said. The fire, which appeared to have begun in the basement left the house uninhabitable due to smoke and fire damage, but no one was injured.

DeKalb fire crews arrived at 12:35 p.m. and had the fire under control by 1 p.m., Battalion Chief Jeff Jossendal. Crews from Cortland and Sycamore also assisted, and the American Red Cross was also at the scene to help the residents.

“While [the children] were home, one of them said he heard a loud noise, and thought it was his friend messing around,” Ziola said Tuesday. “When he got out of his bedroom to investigate, he saw smoke in the house. They exited the residence with their dog and called 911.”

Ziola said after entering the home, it was clear smoke had spread from the basement fire to the ground floor.

“We had a good amount of smoke coming from the eaves of the house,” Ziola said. “It was chugging out of there like a locomotive. Initially, about five feet into the house, visibility was very poor. And when we got into the basement, it was zero.”

Firefighters said a computer workstation used by the homeowner for photography appeared to be the source of the fire. The exact cause is still under investigation, but foul play is not suspected, Ziola said.