EAST PEORIA —
No injuries resulted from a fire in an East Peoria subdivision Saturday afternoon (Jan. 26) that destroyed a family’s home and garage.
The East Peoria Fire Department received a call at 4 p.m. of a garage fire at 224 Wildwood Court from the homeowner.
Fire Chief Bill Darin said the garage was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, and the front part of the house was on fire. The blaze was under control by 4:30 p.m., and firefighters were still on the scene at 6 p.m.
Both the home and garage were deemed a total loss, and Darin estimated the damage to the home and its contents at about $120,000.
Homeowner Don Owens and his wife and three children were home at the time of the fire, as was roommate Rollie Ford. Two dogs and two cats also lived in the residence.
All six residents got out of the house unscathed, as did three of the animals. Owens was unsure of whether one of the cats had gotten out in time.
Owens said he was in the back bedroom when he heard someone yell to get out of the house, and didn’t think twice about moving.
“I just got my son — who is in a wheelchair — and got him out right away and didn’t even ask a question until I got back and looked out, and that’s when I saw the fire,” he said.
Owens said his insurance agent was looking for a place for them to stay Saturday night, or they might stay with relatives.
Ford said he wasn’t sure what could have caused the fire, but a van and a 100-gallon air compressor in the garage could have fueled the flames if they ignited.
Several neighbors said they heard loud popping noises from the fire, but did not see or hear an explosion.
The vinyl siding of a neighboring house at 220 Wildwood Court also was damaged by the blaze.