URBANA - Urbana Fire Chief Mike Dilley is asking anyone who might have seen someone around a garage in central Urbana that was burned early Wednesday to call his department.
Dilley said he eliminated the possibility that there were any accidental causes for the fire that destroyed a detached garage at 611 Oregon Street near Coler Avenue.
Dilley said a man walking by the house about 1:13 a.m. noticed the flames and called for help.
"When the guys got there, it was a pretty good fire," he said.
About a dozen Urbana firefighters had the fire out within minutes and remained there about 90 minutes.
Dilley said the garage was far enough away from owner William Huff's house that there was no danger of the fire getting to the home. Huff was sleeping and unaware of the fire until awakened, the chief said.
The garage did not have any vehicles in it but was used for storage.
"This thing was within 2 feet of another garage which would have had a lot more fire if he hadn't called it in," Dilley said of the passerby.
Dilley put damage at $10,000.
He asked anyone with information about the arson to call his department at 217-384-2420. Callers can also remain anonymous by calling Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477.