No definite causes in two Friday fires in Urbana
URBANA — No one was hurt, but four people were displaced by fire Friday night at an apartment building near the University of Illinois campus.
Urbana Fire Marshal Phil Edwards said firefighters were called to 106 S. Gregory Dr. at 9:44 p.m. When they arrived, flames were visible on a third floor balcony.
“It looked like the fire was starting to fall onto the second floor from the third floor,” Edwards said.
He said none of the apartment’s four residents were home at the time. The fire was called in by a neighbor.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the one apartment on the third floor, said Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger.
Investigators were unable to determine the exact cause of the fire but had not ruled out the inappropriate discarding of smoking materials.
Edwards said there was indoor furniture on the outdoor balcony against a city code enacted in 2010 following a fire that claimed the life of an Urbana woman. That 2010 fire started on a couch on a porch.
Edwards said a rabbit was rescued from the apartment. Three of the occupants stayed with friends while the fourth stayed with parents in a hotel.
Edwards estimated damage at $15,000.
An unrelated fire earlier in the day Friday in Urbana also remains under investigation.
Edwards said a fire in a duplex at 2007 A S. Philo Road, started in a rear room of the house near the water heater and furnace, not in a snowblower as had earlier been suggested. The cause of the fire is undetermined.
Firefighters were called about 1 p.m. and found black smoke coming from the back of the duplex.
Two people were home when the fire started. Both got out safely.
Firefighters were able to rescue several animals, including an exotic bird, cats and a dog.
Edwards said the occupants were displaced overnight. He estimated damage at $20,000.