By Kathryn Menue


On Thursday, Sept. 15, the Belvidere Fire Department responded to a house fire at 1217 Willow St. in Belvidere. The fire department was dispatched at 9:53 a.m. with firefighters responding to the scene within minutes of the call.

“Upon arrival, we had a pretty good amount of smoke coming from the eaves,” Belvidere Fire Department Chief Al Hyser said.

Firefighters also encountered heavy smoke emitting from the basement where the fire is believed to have started from an electrical malfunction with the aquarium tank.

When the first units arrived, the residents and their three dogs had exited the home. However, one of the residents was transported to SwedishAmerican Hospital-Belvidere where she was evaluated for smoke inhalation.

Other emergency responders were Boone County District 2 Fire, Marengo Fire Department, Lifeline Ambulance, and the Belvidere Police Department.

Firefighters extinguished the fire within 10 minutes of arriving on scene.

“The fire was contained to the basement, but smoke damage was throughout the home,” Chief Hyser said.

Due to the excessive smoke damage, the couple and their three dogs are displaced at the moment. The Red Cross arrived on scene to aid the residents through the temporary housing process.

The fire department remained on scene until about noon to salvage property and ensure the fire did not extend to other areas of the house.

The fire is believed to have caused about $40,000 worth of structural and content damages.

Thankfully, there were no deaths or severe injuries from the fire. Much of this is due to the residence having “working smoke detectors that alerted the occupants of the basement fire,” Chief Hyser said.

Chief Hyser said this is a good example for everyone to make sure their smoke detectors are functioning properly.

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