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Fire causes $15,000 damage to St. Charles apartment

ST. CHARLES – An apartment kitchen fire Thursday on St. Charles' west side was listed as accidental, but it is still under investigation, said Scott Swanson, St. Charles assistant fire chief of operations, on Friday.

“The investigation has not been completed,” Swanson said, adding that it would likely conclude sometime next week.

The fire is not considered to be suspicious, according to a news release from the St. Charles Fire Department. The blaze caused an estimated $15,000 in losses to the apartment's contents and structure, located at 1324 Covington Court in St. Charles.

There were no injuries, but the apartment unit is not habitable at this time, the release said. A cleaning and restoration crew on Friday were working inside the unit on Friday afternoon.

St. Charles firefighters at 9:40 p.m. Thursday responded to a reported activated fire alarm at the Ashford at St. Charles Apartment Complex, which is where the apartment unit is located.

"While [en] route, firefighters were advised that the kitchen was on fire in the 1324 unit and the alarm was upgraded," St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet wrote in the release. "Firefighters arrived on the scene at 9:46 and found a fire in the kitchen of the 1324 apartment which is located on the first floor."
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 15 minutes but were on the scene for more than two hours completing overhaul operations and starting the fire investigation, according to the release.

Swanson said the apartment's occupants declined assistance from the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army and made other living arrangements following the fire.
 At the time of the fire, two of the tenants had gone outside for a short time and viewed the fire through a window, according to release.
"The fire was discovered a female occupant of the apartment who saw it through the window after the alarm activation," Schelstreet wrote in the release. "She called 911 and provided additional information to the dispatcher."
The third tenant of the apartment was away visiting a family member, according to the release.

The Geneva and Batavia fire departments assisted St. Charles with the fire, with the Elburn Fire Department providing coverage, according to the release.

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