DeKALB – At least two apartments were damaged Monday in a fire at Mason Properties, 921 Normal Road in DeKalb.
The DeKalb Fire Department arrived at the apartment complex at 10:39 a.m. and took about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire, which damaged units 108 and 208. Fire Chief Eric Hicks said everyone in the building got out and no one was hurt.
The fire started below a hot water heater in apartment 208, where firefighters first attacked the blaze. After discovering the fire extended into the floor space between the first-floor apartment ceiling and second-level apartment floor, the firefighters then entered apartment 108, according to an incident report.
Ceiling in apartment 108 had to be pulled to extinguish the fire completely, according to the report. There was roughly $20,000 in damage.
The DeKalb Fire Department was assisted by the Sycamore Fire Department and DeKalb and Northern Illinois University Police. ComEd also responded and turned off the electricity.
Jim Mason, owner of the complex, said it was the first fire he had experienced in the 40 years he has owned the property.
Mason said residents who would not be able to return to their apartments because of fire damage should find friends or family with whom they could stay. He said the residents in 108 and 208 did not have renter's insurance – an option too many people do not take.
"If anything, hopefully this can be a plea for people to buy renter's insurance," he said. "I have insurance on the building, but I'm not responsible for any personal items that are lost."