Morton Fire Department responds to Sunnyland blaze

Stephanie Gomes
Firefighters with the Northern Tazewell Fire Department respond to a house fire about 1:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at 214 Esser St. in Sunnyland.

A homeowner and his dog are safe after a house fire this afternoon in Sunnyland.

Fire fighters with The Northern Tazewell Fire Department responded to the scene about 1:30 p.m. at 214 Esser St., where the front half of the small house was engulfed in flames, said Northern Tazewell Department Fire Chief Ray Kiddy.

With the assistance of the East Peoria Fire Department and the Morton Fire Department, the fire was put out in about 15 minutes, Kiddy said.

The dog was missing for about an hour.

“The dog just ran out about 5 minutes ago,” Kiddy said. “I’m really not sure how he survived. He must have found a good hiding place.”

Kiddy said the homeowner — whose name was not available immediately after the fire — started a fire in the fireplace, exited the room and returned to a living room full of flames.

“Right now, it’s looking like (the fire) started around the fire place,” Kiddy said.

The homeowner exited the house immediately with his cats, Kiddy said.

Although there was no damage estimate, Kiddy said it appeared to be a total loss of the house. An AmerenCILCO pole also collapsed near the house.

For more more information, check next week’s edition of the East Peoria Times-Courier.