Having just returned from the airport after a vacation in China, a Palatine family was home for less than half-an-hour Saturday morning when a fire erupted in their townhouse, said Palatine Fire Department Battalion Chief William Gabrenya.
The family escaped before firefighters arrived and no one was injured. But the fire caused enough damage to force the family to find temporary lodging with neighbors, Gabrenya said.
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The blaze on the 1100 block of Parkside Drive was reported at 10:27 a.m. by a neighbor, and firefighters arrived within five minutes to see smoke and flames in a second-story window, Gabrenya said. The fire apparently started in a laundry room ceiling and eventually made its way to a bedroom.
Firefighters from Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates and the Palatine Rural Fire District had the fire under control in 23 minutes, Gabrenya said. Two adjacent townhouses suffered minor damage, he added.
Officials are investigating the cause of the fire and the possibility it was started by lightning, but have yet to determine a dollar amount for the damage, Gabrenya said.