Renter in jail when fire hits Rantoul home

Renter in jail when fire hits Rantoul home

RANTOUL — An early Monday morning fire heavily damaged the home of a man being held in the Ford County Jail.

Firefighters were called at 4:02 a.m. to 1180 Bel Air Drive, where they found the house fully involved.

Fire Chief Ken Waters said they had the fire under control by 4:20 a.m.

No one was home at the time.

Waters said the residence is owned by Leslie Lux and rented by Michael Mounts.

A Ford County sheriff's office spokeswoman said Mounts is being held in the jail in Paxton for failure to appear in court on charges of driving under the influence and failure to pay child support. Bond is set at $5,000 on the DUI charge and $250 on the child support charge.

No injuries were reported.

Waters estimated total damage at $60,000, including $15,000 damage to contents.

He said when firefighters arrived, two dogs believed to belong to Mounts were running loose. It is not known if they had been in the house at the time of the fire. Waters said a neighbor agreed to look after the dogs.

Nineteen firefighters responded to the call. The department cleared the scene at 5:33 a.m.

Waters said cause of the fire is undetermined and remains under investigation.

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