A St. Charles neighborhood on the west side near the Fox River was hit by its second garage fire in three days, this time spreading to three vehicles, two houses, a neighbor’s garage and involving 19 fire departments in a box-alarm event.
The fire took place at around 12:31 p.m. Monday (July 31, 2017), when the St. Charles Fire Department was dispatched to a reported detached garage fire at 314 Indiana St.
Firefighters were on the scene by 12:33 p.m. and found a fully involved detached garage with the fire in control of the attic of the home and moving through the first floor.
Additionally, the fire had involved three vehicles in the driveways of the original home as well as the neighbor’s home to the west. The garage of the west neighbor was also beginning to become involved.
At this time, the fire was elevated to a second-level Mutual Aid Box Alarm System alert, bringing 19 fire departments either to the scene or filling in at St. Charles fire stations.
Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in about 90 minutes but remained on the scene for several hours completing overhaul, according to a news release from St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet.
The 911 call was made by one of the residents, after being alerted by her husband and while she evacuated the home. There were no injuries to firefighters or the occupants.
The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental and remains under investigation at this time.
Fire loss is estimated at $385,000 to the structures, vehicles and contents. The vehicles and the garage were destroyed and the home is not habitable. The occupants were being assisted by the Red Cross.
The Monday fire was about a mile away from a Saturday garage fire at 409 McKinley St., where firefighters “located an obviously deceased male victim” when they arrived at the scene.
The cause of the McKinley Street fire is under investigation, and the St. Charles Police Department is conducting a death investigation. Fire loss in the McKinley Street fire was estimated at $100,000.
SOURCE: St. Charles Fire Department news release