ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The severe storms could be to blame for a house fire on the city’s east side. It happened around 3:15 p.m. Monday afternoon on 16th Street.

First crews met flames shooting out from the building’s second floor with thick, black smoke filling the block.

Officials say no one was home at the time. Rescuers pulled two dogs from the home–one had to be put on oxygen.

Investigators believe lightning or downed power lines sparked the blaze. The storm and high winds posed multiple hurdles for Rockford firefighters.

“That’s what had the fire advance so quickly and made it difficult for companies to get here based on trees being down, power lines being down so we had to take different routes to get here as well,” explained Rockford Fire District Chief Dave Nordenberg.

Damage is estimated at around $100,000. Crews say the house is uninhabitable.

Rockford Fire crews also responded to the 1600 block of Chelsea Avenue for a fire around 6:45 p.m.. Officials say crews responded within minutes and the fire was contained to the laundry room.

No one was injured. No word on what caused the fire.


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