Firefighters extinguish apartment blaze near Aurora's downtown
Nobody was injured when a 3½-story house, which had been converted to apartments, caught on fire Tuesday morning near downtown Aurora.
Aurora Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim Rhodes said the building was vacant at the time.
People called the fire department around 7 a.m. to 250 W. Downer Place, reporting they saw smoke coming from the building.
There was heavy fire and smoke throughout, Rhodes said.
Initially, firefighters did not know the building was vacant, so they searched it, he said. Rhodes said the building contained three or four apartments. Later, Rhodes confirmed, no one was living in the building.
The fire appears to have started in the basement, he said, but no cause has been identified yet. It spread through the floors and walls all the way to the attic.
The building was a wood balloon-frame construction, without any fire-stopping materials between the floors, Rhodes said.
"It was a very challenging fire to fight," he said.
Firefighters also had to deal with the effects of cold weather: "It was really slippery," Rhodes said.
Rhodes said the building, which was up for sale, is a total loss. No other buildings were damaged.