St. Charles, Geneva Officials: 7 Recent Structure Fires Aren't Related

St. Charles, Geneva Officials: 7 Recent Structure Fires Aren’t Related

The St. Charles and Geneva area saw its seventh structure fire since July 29 early Monday, but fire officials underline that the causes of the fires are varied and unrelated.

According to a St. Charles Fire Department news release, firefighters were dispatched at 2:47 a.m. Monday (Sept. 18, 2017) to a reported house fire at 415 Jackson Ave. While in route, firefighters were advised that the police were on the scene and that there was visible fire in the rear of the home.

415 Jackson Ave., St. Charles. (CREDIT: Google Maps)

The 9-1-1 call was made by one of the occupants who awoke to the smoke-filled house. Three residents were in the home at the time of the fire, and all were able to exit safely by the time firefighters arrived at 2:52 a.m.

Firefighters found a fire in the basement and first floor of the home and were able to bring the fire under control in about 20 minutes. There were no injuries to firefighters or occupants.

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental and remains under investigation at this time. Fire loss is estimated at $200,000 to the structure and contents.

The home is not habitable, and the occupants are working with the Red Cross. The St. Charles Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Geneva, Batavia, Elburn and West Chicago fire departments.

“Lately we are experiencing a much higher rate of fire activity than normal,” St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet said. “As we work extensively with the Geneva Fire Department, Chief (Michael) Antenore and I talk frequently to compare notes and discuss all things emergency service related.

“I would like to highlight that, even though St. Charles and Geneva are running more fires than normal, they are not related. We do not believe that we have any sort of an arson problem or that there is anything nefarious going on. Fire activity can be cyclical for any number of reasons, and we are prepared for that.”

Schelstreet praised the teamwork of the neighboring departments and stressed the importance of residential fire prevention.

The most effective tools in preventing accidental structure fires in homes and garages are simple, common-sense precautions, Schelstreet said.

“Be sure to dispose of cigarettes properly, hire qualified contractors to work on electrical systems and be certain that smoke detectors function by testing them monthly and changing batteries annually,” he said.

SOURCE: St. Charles Fire Department news release

What’s Your Plan?

Does your family have an emergency escape plan for your home? When was the last time you had a drill? Do your children know what to do in an emergency? How to use a fire extinguisher? How and when to call 911?

If your answer to any of these questions is “I’m not sure,” you should consider having a home safety inspection done. The Geneva Fire Department offers free home safety inspections to its residents. A firefighter will go over any potentially hazardous conditions your home may have along with checking your smoke detectors, reviewing how a carbon monoxide detector works and creating a safe evacuation plan with you and your family.

Inspections are voluntary and are done by appointment only by calling 630-232-2530 to schedule.

For more information, visit the fire prevention page of the city of Geneva website.

SOURCE: Geneva Fire Department website

Fire Department Open House Set For Oct. 14

To commemorate Fire Prevention Week, the St. Charles Fire Department will host an open house from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Fire Station No. 1, 112 N. Riverside Ave.

Members of the Fire Department are encouraging residents to stop by, talk with the firefighters and take a tour of the fire station.

Several exhibitions will be held throughout the day, including fire extinguisher demonstrations, special rescue operations and a live burn/sprinkler demonstration. The purpose of the burn is to demonstrate how effective residential sprinklers can be used in combating residential house fires.

There will be activities for children and refreshments will be available. Many informational displays will also be presented for department programs and general safety concerns.

SOURCE: St. Charles Fire Department news release