No one was injured early Sunday morning when fire broke out in a home on the 400 block of West Berkeley Lane in Hoffman Estates.
Though the home's residents were able to evacuate safely, two cats had to be rescued by firefighters.
Battalion Chief Richard Englund of the Hoffman Estates Fire Department said the family pets were not doing well when firefighters carried them from the house to the waiting paramedics.
"They weren't responding well and they were fairly limp," Englund said.
Englund said firefighters used oxygen masks designed for cats and dogs to resuscitate the animals. The family then took the cats to an animal hospital. Englund said he last heard that the animals were doing well.
Two grandparents and their three grandchildren were home when the fire started about 6 a.m. Englund said the children's parents were out-of-state, but returned home when they got the call with the news.
Although an investigation is still ongoing, Englund said the fire is believed to have been started by an old, faulty refrigerator in the garage.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, heavy smoke was coming from the attached garage and there was lighter smoke emitting from the rest of the home. Fire crews made their way into the garage and fought the fire with two hoses.
Englund said the garage sustained most of the damage, but the house is uninhabitable.
According to a release by the fire department, the house had working smoke detectors and was not equipped with a sprinkler system.
The fire department estimated damages at $150,000.