Four people were left homeless and their two-story Naperville house badly damaged as a result of an early Christmas Eve fire that started in the basement, officials said.
Naperville firefighters responding to a 6:30 am emergency call in the 800 block of Plainfield-Naperville Road arrived to find a mattress on fire in the basement, a Naperville Fire Department report said.
A hand line was used to extinguish the fire in about 20 minutes, and extra crews brought out because of the sub-zero temperature and wind chills — 26 people in all — helped with the water supply, salvage and overhaul, smoke removal and hidden fire extinguishment, the report said.
The house’s four residents were able to escape without injury. American Red Cross officials helped find them shelter and provide personal belongings, the report said.
Naperville Transportation, Engineering, and Development staff deemed the house uninhabitable. An investigation to determine the fire’s cause is underground.
The Bolingbrook Fire Department and Oswego and Plainfield fire protection districts provided station coverage for Naperville while city fire personnel were at the scene.
According to the Red Cross, there were 25 house fires in the last week to which their volunteers responded. In addition to the one in Naperville, there were fires in Blue Island, Chicago, Des Plaines, Dolton, Kankakee, Melrose Park, Ottawa, Round Lake Beach, Streator and Waukegan and 68 people who required help, the nonprofit agency said.