St. Charles firefighters battled three structure fires Wednesday that shuttered a downtown restaurant, scorched the attic of a private home and killed an entire coop of chickens.
The first fire began early Wednesday morning at The Office Dining and Spirits restaurant in St. Charles. The establishment opened at 201 E. Main St. just three years ago. The fire caused about $125,000 in damages and rendered the building uninhabitable, according to Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet.
Firefighters were on the scene at 6:02 a.m., one minute after receiving word of the fire from an employee who showed up to work, Assistant Fire Chief Scott Swanson said.
Firefighters discovered smoke coming from the roof of the building, entered and found a fire above the ceiling of the kitchen area. Schelstreet said the fire was extinguished in approximately one hour.
The cause of the fire is being investigated but is not believed to be suspicious, Schelstreet said, adding that there were no injuries. The restaurant was closed at the time the fire occurred.
Main Street (Route 64) was reduced to one lane in each direction as firefighters from several departments fought to get the situation under control.
St. Charles was assisted by Geneva, Batavia and West Chicago fire departments at the scene, with the Elburn Fire Department providing backup coverage.
A second fire erupted in the backyard of a house on the 900 block of South Seventh Street only four hours later.
A fan inside a backyard chicken coop first caught fire, killing all the chickens and allowing the flames to spread to the exterior of the house, fire officials said.
It took firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish the fire. No one was home at the time of the blaze. It caused about $10,000 in damage. Geneva and Elburn fire departments assisted.
The third fire of the day broke out about three hours later at a home in the 800 block of Persimmon Court. Fire officials believe an attic fan used for ventilation caught fire. Firefighters quickly snuffed out the blaze, confining it to the immediate area of the attic fan and its structural framing.
It caused about $10,000 in damage. Geneva, Batavia, West Chicago and Elburn fire departments assisted.
Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet expressed pride for his firefighters after a long day.
"It's not unusual to get called out multiple times in a day, but to have three actual structure fires is out of the ordinary," Schelstreet said. "These guys are professionals. I'm really proud of them. We had three fires with no injuries to civilians or firefighters. There's definitely a pride that's present today."
• Daily Herald photographer Brian Hill contributed to this story.