Fire that destroyed Walnut, IL home caused by unattended cooking

WALNUT, Illinois -- A family of three was displaced from their home after flames destroyed their home on Feb. 20, a neighbor said.

A neighbor, Zoe Zittle, said she spoke to the family who lived in the house. She said said there were three people in the house including a child, but all of them got out safely.

The fire happened happened on Whitver Street. It started around 2:40 a.m.

"I was sitting downstairs watching TV after work, and I heard the page go off," Zittle said, who has a scanner. When she heard responders calling for backup, she realized it was happening on her street. When she walked outside, she could see the house on fire and could hear alarms going off.

Fire fighters battled the fire in snow and freezing rain. The home was left with apparent damage throughout.

The man who lived in the house works for Avanti Foods. His co-workers said they're trying to help in any way possible.

"They're putting together whatever food we can," Jim Haff, sales manager at Avanti Foods, said. "Basically, they walked out with only what was on their backs."

In early March, 2019, the Illinois State Fire Marshal said the fire started because of unattended cooking.

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