NORMAL - A report of smoke coming from a bathroom cabinet was a symptom of an inferno blazing in the garage of a home on Ethell Parkway.
Normal Fire Department responded to 25 Ethell Parkway at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday to the report of smoke coming from a bathroom cabinet. The occupants were told to evacuate and did so, including their two dogs which they released to the fenced-in back yard.
The first engine to arrive on Ethell Parkway could see smoke billowing across the roadway and immediately called for a greater alarm. At a second alarm, off-duty Normal Firefighters are paged in to staff stations and a Rapid Intervention Team is requested from Bloomington Fire Department.
Firefighters made an aggressive interior attack on the fire and had the main fire extinguished within about 15 minutes. There were additional hot spots extinguished in the attic and in the walls of the rooms above the garage. Crews performed searches of the entire home looking for any potential victims or pets that may not have made it out. Once the fire was deemed out, firefighters continued to search for hot spots and worked to clear the smoke from the home.
The heaviest fire was concentrated in the garage. The home is a split level, with the two-car garage under the upper level bedrooms. The fire damaged the siding and finishes on the front of the home, a vehicle in the garage, and destroyed the garage door. The garage contents were heavily damaged by smoke and heat. The smoke and heat damage extended into the lower level and up the stairwell. The home sustained moderate smoke and water damage throughout.
“It’s fortunate that the family was home, and that this occurred when they were awake,” said Matt Swaney, Public Information Officer for Normal Fire Department. “Their ability to call us quickly made a big difference in firefighters being able to stop this fire before it involved more of the home. In the middle of the night, this fire would have had a greater head start and would be burning directly under them as they slept.”
Firefighters cleared the scene at around 9:30pm. Normal Fire investigators are still on the scene attempting to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
The residents are displaced from the home, but have secured alternative lodging temporarily.
There were no injuries to the occupants or firefighters. The home is insured. A full damage estimate is not available at this time.