Firefighters battle four house fires in Joliet area
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org November 29, 2011 9:40AM
A member of the Joliet Building Department surveys the scene Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, following a fire at 120 Madonna Ave. in Joliet. The front half of the house had to be demolished because it was structurally unsound. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 1, 2012 8:11AM
JOLIET — Joliet firefighters were kept busy with three house fires Monday night. The East Joliet Fire Department also put out a fire at a residence in an unincorporated area early Tuesday.
No one was injured in any of the blazes, but the damage ranges from replacing a mattress to a house that will have to be demolished.
The first fire was reported just before 9 p.m. in the 800 block of Juniper Street.
Joliet fire Capt. Dave House said residents were home when a small fire started in the wall. They got out safely and called 911.
“Firefighters determined it was electrical and did not call an arson investigator to the scene,” police Lt. Stephen Breen said.
About 10 minutes later, residents of a house in the 3600 block of Wildwood Drive smelled smoke coming from an upstairs bedroom. The damage was contained to the room and crews spent about an hour at the scene, House said.
“Investigators learned the daughter had been using her computer on her bed when she went downstairs to eat,” Breen said. “The fire originated from the computer, electrical cords and comforter.”
Then, around 11:40 p.m. a man sleeping in his den smelled smoke coming from his adult son’s bedroom at 120 Madonna Ave.
“The house was fully involved (by fire) when the first crew arrived,” House said.
The 23-year-old son told investigators he had been smoking in his room, but had put the cigarettes out before leaving about an hour before his father smelled smoke, reports say.
House said the house was “a total loss” and the structure would be torn down Tuesday.
Just outside the city, a fire was reported at 5:34 a.m. in the 1700 block of Houston Avenue.
“Four people were sleeping inside when a boy woke up and saw the wall was on fire,” East Joliet Fire Chief Robert Scholtes said.
Everyone escaped the single-story ranch house as firefighters contained the damage mostly to the rear area and an attached garage.
Scholtes said the cause of the fire was under investigation, but did not appear suspicious.