PEKIN — A house fire in Pekin spread to a second house Sunday, injuring no people but killing seven cats, Pekin Fire Department Capt. Brett Diekhoff said.
Pekin firefighters received the call just before noon. When they arrived at 346 Caroline St., they found fire outside on the covered porch and fire coming from the porch windows of the two-story house. Strong wind was spreading the fire to a neighboring house at 342 Caroline St., Diekhoff said.
Four people left each house without injury before Pekin firefighters arrived. However, four cats were left inside the first house, and three were left in the neighboring house. Four dogs were safely evacuated from the secondary house.
A tenant in the first house told firefighters there were some electrical issues, but the cause of the fire has not been determined. Diekhoff said this fire was “pretty stubborn,” and it took about an hour and a half to get it under control. Firefighters were still on the scene after 4 p.m.
Diekhoff said in older houses like the first house, there isn’t a firestop between floors as there is in newer constructions, so the fire was able to move to the second floor easily. A firestop helps to prevent the spread of fire and smoke by filling any openings with fire-resistant materials.
A damage estimate was not available Sunday afternoon, but the roof of the second house caved in during the fire and the first house will likely be demolished because of its extensive damage, Diekhoff said.
Kelsey Watznauer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kwatznauer.