Update: 10:30 pm, 2/18/17, Saturday
CHAMPAIGN — A mid-morning fire caused extensive damage to two homes, causing some firefighters to quickly change their plans. It happened in the 400-block of East Grove Street.
Firefighters were called there around 9:30 am. They were working on preventing fires when they got called to this one.
They were installing smoke detectors in the neighborhood where a woman died last week. Her home did not have any working detectors, but at least one of the two homes in this fire did.
Angela Teague said she was getting ready for work. She never clocked in. Her call time didn’t get her out the door, but her husband Rodney did.
“I heard a boom, so my wife asked what that was. So I came out of my house and I see flames roaring from the back of my neighbor’s house,” said Rodney Teague.
Teague said what started as a small fire quickly got out of control. It started spreading from his neighbors house, to his own.
“I called 911, and I ran and got my wife and got her out of the house, and my dog, and we all went across the street,” said Rodney Teague. “It just got worse, worse, worse, and worse.”
Angela Teague said, “I got to their house and I just stood there and looked like, ‘Is this really happening? Is this really happening at this moment?’ You know, because it seems so real when you see it on TV but now it’s actually happening.”
Dave Ferber and his fellow firefighters got there fast. They had the fire out within the hour.
Before many of them got there, they were installing the very devices meant to prevent fires like this one.
“They said that they went ahead and went through with the smoke detector installation but it was a challenge because a lot of the units that were over there ended up over here fighting the fire,” said Ferber.
The Teague’s watched as firefighters put out the massive amounts of smoke. The fire took a lot with it, but they said it could’ve taken a lot more.
“You know, I just thank God that everything is okay. Everybody got out safe and sound. The people in the houses, the animals and everything,” said Angela Teague.
The Teague’s say their smoke alarms were working and went off properly at the first signs of smoke.
The Champaign Fire Department was still able to install more than two dozen smoke detectors in 15 area homes. That project was funded by a Home Depot grant and a donation from a woman in Champaign.
They hope this serves as a wake-up call to check if your smoke detector is working.
Original: 2:30 pm, 2/18/17, Saturday
The Champaign and Urbana Fire departments responded to a fire around 9:30 Saturday morning.
It happened at 4th and Grove Street in Champaign.
Champaign Fire Department captain Randy Smith says the fire affected two homes, and one had significant damage. He says he suspects the family in that home will be displaced for a while.
No one was reported hurt.
The other home had minor damages.
The fire was put out within an hour. Crews are still on scene investigating the cause.