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Article updated: 2/6/2014 5:16 AM

Residents escape Hoffman Estates house fire, cause under investigation

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Two pets were found dead in a Hoffman Estates fire that started Wednesday afternoon in an attached garage, spread to the home and left it uninhabitable, authorities said.

Investigators were still looking for the cause of the fire that started at 1:50 p.m. in the garage of a ranch home on the 1000 block of Basswood Street.

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Upon search of the home, firefighters later found a deceased small breed dog and pet rabbit, according to Hoffman Estates Fire Battalion Chief Richard Englund.

Three adults were home when fire broke out, but all escaped safely. Three other dogs in the home also escaped.

One firefighter suffered a minor back injury when he slipped and fell on ice, Englund said.

The house was left completely uninhabitable, with total damage estimated to be $300,000.

"It'll probably need to be torn down," Englund said.

The Red Cross is helping the family find temporary accommodation, said Fire Chief Jeff Jorian.

The house had smoke detectors, but it's unclear if they were working during the fire, authorities said.

About half of the house was directly affected by the fire and all of it by smoke, Jorian said. The garage was damaged, including a vehicle that was parked inside. The vehicle was not running when the fire began.

Radiant heat from the fire caused slight damage to the exterior siding of the house directly to the south, but no other homes had to be evacuated during the fire, Jorian said. Crews from Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and Streamwood were on the scene for about two hours, he added.

The initial call came in at 1:50 p.m. and there was some confusion about whether the fire was in Schaumburg or Hoffman Estates because of the home's location on the towns' border. Jorian said the caller lived in an apartment complex on Plum Grove Road that backs up to the house, and thought the fire was in another part of that Schaumburg complex.

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