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Updated 11:30 a.m.
By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
A Wednesday afternoon fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage to a Rantoul home.
Firefighters were called to a home at 1325 Sunset Drive just before 2 p.m.
Fire Chief Ken Waters said a man cooking in the home caused the damage.
“Apparently he had a pan of grease on the stove, some friends came by, and he came out to talk with them and forgot about the fire,” Waters said. “The pan flashed over, and the next thing you know” the kitchen was on fire.
Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Kaiser said investigation confirmed that it appeared to have been started by a grease fire.
The house is owned by Monteen Gray, Kaiser said, and was insured.
Rantoul Fire Department received mutual aid from Thomasboro Fire Department.
No injuries were reported.
Homeowner Monteen Gray said he, his wife, Katrina Gray; and their two children, Kanyah and Serriah, had been living there. He said the man who was cooking, Antonio Gray, had not been a resident there. Only Antonio Gray was at home at the time of the fire.
Waters said the Grays will be staying with family.
Waters said 16 Rantoul firefighters and six Thomasboro firefighters responded.
It marked the second grease fire in a little more than a month in Rantoul.
In late September, a grease fire was blamed for a blaze that heavily damaged a home at 220 Alexander Drive in Rantoul.
Waters said the occupant of the home was cooking on the stove, left the fire for a second, came back and flames were around the pan.
Attempts to put out the fire with an extinguisher failed because the extinguisher did not work.
He said the house was a total loss.