Fire chief says residents may not have made it out without smoke detectors
WALNUT — Thirteen area emergency departments responded to a Walnut house totally engulfed in flames early Wednesday morning.
Walnut Fire Chief Jon Davis said when firefighters arrived on scene around 2:30 a.m., all three residents of the home — a father, mother and teenager — were out of the house.
The family pet dog, however, did not make it out.
Davis said Wednesday morning that the home was a total loss.
"Smoke detectors alerted the occupants, but the fire had a pretty good start on us," Davis said.
The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. A State Fire Marshal was called in to investigate Wednesday morning.
The homeowners are Royal and Candice Blondin. The address of the home is 412 Whitver St.
Multiple departments had to be called in for manpower and water. Davis said with the size of the home, which he estimated to be roughly 4,000 square feet, it made it difficult to fight the flames.
"We were on a defensive attack, and you're going to use a lot of water, and basically our trucks can pump more water faster than the water system," he said.
Smoke detectors played a huge role in getting the occupants out of the home safely in the middle of the night, Davis added.
"They were fortunate they had smoke detectors. It helped them get out, otherwise they wouldn't have made it," he said.
The Blondins declined assistance from Bureau County Red Cross as a neighbor offered to take them in for the night, according to Davis.
Around 30 responders were on scene from agencies that included CGH Ambulance of Sterling and fire departments from Sublette, Wyanet, Sheffield, Buda, Manlius, Harmon, Ohio, Yorktown, Princeton, Rock Falls, Tampico and LaMoille.