Investigators on Monday were trying to determine what caused a fire in an unoccupied single family home in Evanston Sunday night but they said there is no indication of foul play was involved.
On Sunday, at approximately 8 pm, Evanston firefighters responded to 2028 Lincoln Street on a report of smoke coming from a single-family residence that was being rehabbed, said division chief Kimberly Kull.
She said that when firefighters arrived there were confronted with heavy black smoke coming from the first floor of the 3-story residential structure.
“The biggest challenge is the fact the house was under construction and not knowing to what degree,” said Kull. “So you don’t know in terms of stability about the degree to which the structure is opened up.”
“It could have holes in the floor,” she added. “There’s a number of things that can happen and walking into that unknown with low visibility certainly presents a challenge.”
She said firefighters pulled two lines and within 25 minutes extinguished the fire. The blaze was confined to the residence’s first floor, minimizing fire and water damage, said Kull. She there was smoke damage to the entire house and that investigators have not yet put a dollar amount on the damage.
She said one firefighter suffered heat exhaustion but was released from hospital on Monday. The house, which was being rehabbed, was not occupied and there were no reported civilian injuries, Kull said.
She also said the Evanston Fire Department received help from neighboring communities fire departments.
“We had a number of calls that were simultaneous to that particular incident and they helped fill that need,” Kull said.
“Our firefighters conducted a well coordinated aggressive interior attack and were able to keep the fire to the first floor, the area of origin.”
Brian L. Cox is a freelance reporter with Pioneer Press.