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RANTOUL — Police and fire investigators are looking into a smoky fire that displaced the occupants of a home Monday.

Fire Chief Ken Waters said a 46-year-old man living in the 900 block of Eastview Drive arrived home about 3 p.m. and could see smoke coming from his house.

“The tenant had opened the door and backed out right away,” Waters said. “The smoke was coming out of a bedroom.”

Firefighters discovered that the fire originated on a bed. The flames did not get beyond the bedroom, but there was significant smoke damage throughout the house, he said.

Waters said he believed the man’s girlfriend also lived in the house, but she was not home at the time of the fire.

Fire investigators from both departments collected evidence to send to the Illinois State Crime Lab.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 217-892-2103. Arrangements can be made for information to be shared privately. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477, or via the free “P3 Tips” mobile app.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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