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Fire in Walnut

Red Cross assists residents

Published: Monday, May 12, 2014 3:27 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, May 12, 2014 4:19 p.m. CST

WALNUT — The cause of a Saturday afternoon fire at the Walnut Grove apartment building in Walnut has been determined to be electrical in nature.

On Monday, Walnut Assistant Fire Chief Jon Davis said Saturday’s fire started in a downstairs apartment in the central portion of the two-story building, which has 18 apartments. Two of the apartments received severe damage, while two other apartments had smoke damage. Some of the remaining apartments may also have some smoke odor damage, Davis said.

None of the residents have been allowed to move back into the building at this time, the assistant chief said.

The Walnut Fire Department received the emergency call at about 3:20 p.m. Saturday to respond to the apartment building fire on Walnut Grove Street. Upon arrival, firefighters saw smoke from under the eaves of the central section of the two-story building. Everyone was already out of the building, Davis said.

Emergency personnel were on the scene for about four hours, Davis said. There were no injuries to residents or firefighters, he said.

Responding to the scene with mutual aid were the fire departments from Ohio, Manlius, Tampico, Princeton and Rock Falls. The state fire marshal was contacted. The Walnut Police Department and Bureau County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene, as did the Bureau County Red Cross.

On Monday, Bureau County Red Cross director Lori Compton said the Red Cross has assisted the residents of 10 apartment units in the building, as of Sunday. The Red Cross assisted the families with immediate needs, like food, clothes and shelter. The Red Cross will continue to assist the families in coming weeks during the recovery period, primarily with referrals assistance, she said.

Looking back to the Walnut fire, Compton said the Red Cross got the call about 4:30 p.m. Saturday from the scene. She did contact the Regional Disaster Manager Scott Allshouse who traveled with a client case supervisor to the Walnut fire site. She also had nine local volunteers responding to the site, Compton said.

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