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The Shopper

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Monday, December 03, 2012 8:42 PM

Firefighter neighbor helps thwart blaze

By CRYSTAL HERBER, Herald Staff Writer

RANTOUL — The value of a good neighbor could be seen in Rantoul this weekend.

Josh Owens responded quickly after seeing smoke coming from underneath his neighbor’s house shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday in the 400 block of Elm Street in Rantoul.

“I live right next door, and I was out on the porch and they had smoke just pouring out of their house,” Owens, who is a member of the Cutler Township Fire Department, said. “So I ran and got a fire truck and told them to get more help.”

No injuries were reported with the fire, Owens said, and the 10 people inside the mobile home residence were evacuated safely.

An investigation showed the afternoon blaze started because of an electrical problem in the home’s laundry area, Owens said, and spread underneath the home. Though the home was not labeled a total loss, Owens said, there was significant damage to the structure’s water and electrical lines.

“I think once they get it fixed it will still be inhabitable,” he said.

Firefighters from Cutler Township, Wellsville and Pottawatomie fire departments responded to the fire. It took more than two hours for firefighters to clear the blaze.

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