Cause of Urbana apartment building fire investigated (w/video)
UPDATED 9:10 a.m. Tuesday
URBANA — Firefighters are trying to find out what sparked a fire at an Urbana apartment building Monday night that displaced 18 residents.
While Urbana firefighters had to use a ladder truck to rescue one person from the balcony of one of the apartments, nobody was reported hurt.
Fire Marshal Phil Edwards said firefighters were called to 201 S. Busey Ave. at 9:07 p.m. The caller told firefighters he heard a loud explosion that shook the 12-unit building then saw fire.
“Upon arrival, we had flames coming out of the third floor on the northwest corner,” Edwards said.
Champaign firefighters were called to help.
“Upon arrival we went to a second alarm, and Champaign sent five units to help us out,” Edwards said.
Edwards said that two ladder trucks, one on each side, were used to reach the building. He said there were too many trees and other obstructions nearby to make it safe to use ground ladders.
While the fire was under control within about five minutes, Edwards said firefighters remained to put out hot spots.
“We put it out pretty quickly, but we want to check to make sure no fire ran down the side of the building or anything like that,” he said.
Edwards said that 18 people were listed as leasing apartments in the building. All of the residents escaped without injury. Firefighters were unsure how many of the residents were home at the time of the fire.
The MTD brought a bus to the scene to keep the residents warm, and the Emergency Support Services Team provided assistance for those evacuated.
Edwards said the fire was mostly on the west end of the third floor and was bad enough that the residents will not be able to live there.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Edwards said investigators began interviewing residents Monday evening.
The owner of the building was listed as Charles Lozar.