Two Champaign homes heavily damaged by fire

Champaign firefighters are investigating the cause of a blaze that jumped from one house to the one next door early Sunday morning. Everyone was able to escape without injury.

Champaign Fire Marshall John Koller said the fire apparently started in the rear of the home at 1521 W. Church St., which is located at the corner of Church and Fair streets.

Koller said firefighters found the garage was fully engulfed in flames and the house next door at 1519 W. Church St. was just beginning to catch on fire when they arrived about 3:30 a.m. Sunday. The rear of both homes and the garage were heavily damaged.

Koller said a second alarm was issued to bring more manpower to the scene since two houses were on fire.

The Champaign Fire Department said it took nearly three hours for firefighters to put the fires out.

One of the homeowners of the house on the corner, Jenny Clementz, told WDWS Radio that she woke up, smelled smoke, looked out the window, and saw her back porch was on fire.

She said her husband banged on the door of her neighbor’s home at 1519 W. Church St. to alert them to the fire.

Koller said he greatly appreciated the support given by neighbors to the residents and firefighters as they dealt with the fires.

One firefighter was treated at the scene.  A damage estimate was not yet available.
  

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