CHAMPAIGN - Fire heavily damaged a west Champaign house early Tuesday morning, making it temporarily unlivable.
Champaign Fire Marshal John Koller said one of the occupants of the house at 2107 Charwick Drive had improperly disposed of the contents of a hookah pipe hours before the fire started.
Capt. John Mills said the fire started on the deck at the rear of the two-story house. Mills said two occupants were out of the home safely when firefighters arrived in the Ironwood subdivision west of Staley Road just before 1 a.m. Firefighters rescued a cat.
He said one of the occupants called for help after hearing noise outside and discovering the flames.
“They had fire showing on the back side of the house from the ground level and climbing into the attic eaves,” he said.
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to get the fire out.
“Anything that gets into the attic is much more difficult to control,” said Mills, adding that the exterior of the house had vinyl siding.
Firefighters were there until about 3 a.m.
Koller said the owner of the home is Muhammad Sharif. He was not at home at the time but his two daughters, ages 18 and 16, were.
Koller said he did not have a damage estimate.