URBANA — It took three fire departments and about an hour to extinguish a blaze at 403 W. Oregon St. on Sunday afternoon, but firefighters were able to do so without injuries.
The home was severely damaged in the fire, as was a shed behind a house across the street that ignited, but the occupants of the house were not at home at the time of the fire.
It was a three-alarm fire, which is pretty serious by Champaign-Urbana standards.
“That’s not very often that we get one of that significance in this area,” said Urbana Fire Marshal Phil Edwards.
The Champaign and Savoy departments were called to assist Urbana firefighters — plumes of black smoke could be seen from miles away at the peak of the blaze. Rural fire departments were covering some Champaign and Savoy zones while their crews were in Urbana.
It is believed that the fire started on the exterior of the home, Edwards said, but a specific cause has yet to be determined. Investigators were still on the scene as of Sunday night.
A shed behind a home less than a block away also caught fire and was destroyed. Edwards said investigators have yet to determine whether the house fire triggered the shed fire or if the shed ignited by some other means.