Wyanet blaze renders home a total loss

Fire is still under investigation

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 1:15 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 1:41 p.m. CDT
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(BCR photo/Donna Barker)
A two-story Wyanet home stands in shambles Wednesday morning after being gutted by an early morning fire. Firefighters from 10 different departments responded to the early morning fire on Wyanet's West Main Street.
Caption
(BCR photo/Donna Barker)
The siding on a neighboring house was melted by the intensity of the heat from the burning house. No injuries were reported.
Caption
Submitted by Joshua Baker
Caption
Submitted by Joshua Baker
Caption
Submitted by Joshua Baker
Caption
Submitted by Joshua Baker

WYANET — The investigation continues into an early Wednesday fire which destroyed a Wyanet home.

Wyanet Fire Chief Don Prince said the fire department received the emergency call at 1:06 a.m. Wednesday to respond to a house fire at 121 W. Main St. The owner and occupant of the two-story house, Jim Wilhite, was not home at the time of the fire.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, the wood frame house was fully engulfed with flames extending out the window on both the first and second floors of the house. With the cold temperatures, a lot of the water from the firemen’s hoses turned to ice on the house and the ground, which made for treacherous walking conditions. There was also a concern about frostbite for the firefighters, but no injuries were reported, Prince said.

Firefighters had the fire under control and began leaving the scene in four to five hours, with the final firefighters leaving the scene about 10:30 a.m.

The Wilhite house was a total house, Prince said. There was also melted exterior siding and smoke damage to the house east of the Wilhite house.

Assisting at the scene were the Princeton, Bureau, Tiskilwa, Buda, Sheffield, Manlius, Yorktown, Walnut and Malden fire departments and the Wyanet Rescue Unit. The Wyanet Village Police and Bureau County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the site.

Prince said the state fire marshal is assisting in the investigation. At this time, it has not yet been determined in which part of the house the fire started or the cause of the fire, he said.

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