UPDATED 2:35 p.m.
TOLONO — Three cats survived a fire that damaged the Tolono home where they live.
Tolono fire Lt. Brian Lukenbill said the cause of the fire Wednesday morning that destroyed the garage at 302 N. First St. and heavily damaged the roof of the house is undetermined.
Lukenbill said a neighbor living behind the home of David Mahaffey saw the garage on fire shortly after 8 a.m. and called 911.
“The garage was fully involved in fire and flames were impinging on the house,” said Lukenbill.
The fire jumped to the eaves of the single-story house, getting in the attic.
“There are several holes in the roof where the fire burned through but the house is still intact and standing,” said Lukenbill. The garage, although standing, is considered a total loss, he said.
Firefighters estimated the total loss at $100,000.
There were no vehicles in the two-car detached garage. It was used for storage for things including a work bench, lawn mower and doors and windows, Lukenbill said.
Lukenbill said Mahaffey, who lives alone except for the cats, reported he left for work about 8 a.m. and didn’t see anything suspicious. He came back to the house while firefighters were there. The fire was called in at 8:08 a.m.
“The cats were rescued by firefighters. They have been taken to the vet and are doing fine,” Lukenbill said.
Savoy, Sadorus and Pesotum firefighters helped Tolono firefighters put out the fire. Lukenbill said the fires in both the house and garage were struck by 9:14 a.m. but firefighters remained there another hour or so cleaning up.
Lukenbill said Mahaffey has relatives he can stay with in the area and the house is insured.