NORMAL – A basement fire in a home on Normal Avenue sent three of the four occupants of the home to the hospital this morning.
Normal Fire Department responded to 702 Normal Avenue at 7:50 this morning to the report of fire in the basement of the home. The caller was reporting thick smoke throughout the home and as trying to get the other occupants to evacuate. Firefighters arrived a few minutes later and reported heavy smoke conditions showing from the outside of the home. All of the occupants had evacuated just prior to the fire department arriving. Incident command struck a second alarm which calls off-duty Normal Firefighters to respond to their stations and requests an engine company from Bloomington Fire Department for a Rapid Intervention Team for crews working inside.
Firefighters made entry into the home and began an aggressive interior attack on the fire. Firefighters used two hose lines to bring the fire under control in about fifteen minutes.
Firefighters rotated crews for an hour or so while they extinguished hot spots and ventilated smoke from the home. Ameren responded to the scene to secure the electrical service to the home. Normal Water Department also responded to shut off the water service to the home, since heat from the fire melted portions of the plumbing in the basement which resulted in uncontrolled flooding.
Paramedics at the scene transported three occupants to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries and smoke inhalation. None of the injuries are considered to be life threatening. The fourth occupant was out walking the dog when the fire broke out and returned home shortly after the fire was reported. Firefighters located two kittens inside the home during a search of the second floor and were able to remove them from the home safely. They were treated for smoke inhalation with pet oxygen masks and then returned to the homeowner.
There is extensive damage to the basement level of the home from fire, smoke and water, and smoke damage throughout the main and upper story of the home. The home is insured and the occupants have made arrangements for lodging until the home is safe to live in again. There is no damage estimate available at this time.
Normal Fire Department Investigators have deemed the fire accidental in nature and determined that it originated in a bedroom in the basement level of the home.
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