Neighbor assists St. Charles fire department with deck fire

Updated 4/5/2015 6:11 PM

St. Charles fire officials praised the efforts of a quick-thinking resident who kept a fire on his neighbors' wooden backyard deck at bay with a garden hose before firefighters arrived to extinguish the flames Sunday afternoon.

Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet said the man happened to spot the fire on the deck of the house at 522 Longmeadow Circle just before 3:19 p.m. The man called 911, alerted the family inside the house that they needed to evacuate and started spraying with the garden hose, he said.


"He was definitely a real asset here," Schelstreet said. "He applied water to it and kept it in the general area where it was when he saw it."

Firefighters arrived on the scene four minutes after the man called and were able to extinguish the flames with their hoses within 10 minutes.

"It was a pretty simple, pretty quick job, but nonetheless the gentleman really helped out," Schelstreet said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is not considered suspicious at this time.

The loss is estimated to be around $10,000. No one was injured by the fire.

Schelstreet said if the man hadn't seen that the deck fire, the family inside the house might not have known to alert the fire department and evacuate until the fire grew much larger.

"The fire wouldn't be in your normal field of vision if you happened to be looking out of the kitchen window into the backyard," Schelstreet said.

The Geneva and Batavia fire departments assisted fighting the blaze.

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