DeKALB – Firefighters from several area departments were at the scene on South Seventh Street on Friday evening, where a building was engulfed in flames.
The fire started around 6:50 p.m. at the Standard Roofing Co. building at 1100 S. Seventh St, but it had spread by the time firefighters arrived, and flames could be seen shooting through the roof of the building. DeKalb firefighters were able to respond almost immediately as the building is right next door to Fire Station No. 2.
However, they quickly realized the fire had become strong enough that they needed backup.
“We went into defensive operation immediately,” DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff McMaster said. “It was already a fully engulfed fire when we arrived. Flames were shooting out of the roof.”
Sycamore Fire Chief Pete Polarek was also on the scene Friday.
Onlookers from the homes across the street stood outside their homes in the snow to watch the flames as firefighters from DeKalb’s Fire Engine No. 1 operated the ladder truck’s hose system. Firefighters came up to McMaster to strategize how to get another water hose in.
“Right now, we have absolutely no idea what started it at the moment,” McMaster said. He said the roofing company’s owner was the one to make the 911 call, and that there were no people in the building.
Firefighters from Sycamore, Cortland, Rochelle, Genoa-Kingston, Malta and Shabbona fire departments were among those on the scene helping to fight the flames, which were still visible on the roof and inside the building nearly an hour after the initial call.
McMaster said he did not believe there were any injuries – the building owner said there was no one inside at the time.
Seventh is blocked off in the area as firefighters from DeKalb and Sycamore fire departments battled the blaze. Flames could be seen flashing through the top of the flat-roofed building around 7:15 p.m., and firefighters were using a ladder truck to douse the flames from above.
This is a developing story. Check back at Daily-Chronicle.com for updates.