LOCAL NEWS AND VIDEO FOR DEKALB COUNTY, IL
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House fire causes $200k in damage in Sycamore; no one injured

Created: Sunday, February 17, 2013 11:44 a.m. CST

SYCAMORE – Neighbors say no one was living at the Sycamore house that was badly damaged by a fire overnight Sunday.

Sycamore Fire Department responded to a house fire at 339 Chauncey St. at 11:58 p.m. Saturday and found the house engulfed in flames.

The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen and the damage is estimated at $200,000 to the 2 1/2 story house.

There were no injuries to the residents or the firefighters.

It took firefighters about 45 minutes to get the fire under control, and the cause of the fire is  under investigation. Sycamore firefighters and an investigator from the state fire marshal were at the scene late Sunday morning.

John Knepper, who lives nearby at 358 Chauncey St., said the owners had purchased the house a year ago and were remodeling it.

"No one was living there at this point," Knepper said.

Mary Smith, a 95-year-old woman who lives next to the fire-damaged house at 333 Chauncey St., said she was not concerned about the fire spreading.

"I felt terribly bad," Smith said about the fire. "They had just completed it and they were going to move in (renters)."

Mary Johnson and her husband Nick Dreher, who live two houses down from 339 Chauncey St., said their dog Hattie woke them up when she barked at people on the sidewalks. Johnson and Dreher said they watched as firefighters from Sycamore, DeKalb, and Cortland put out the blaze.

Johnson said the flames were so intense that she was concerned about the houses directly next door. At one point, she said, a nearby tree was also beginning to catch fire. But firefighters quickly took care of the situation, eliminating any chance of the fire spreading.

"Their response was pretty impressive," Johnson said.

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