RANTOUL — Kittens playing were believed to be the culprits for an early-morning fire Friday that destroyed a Rantoul family’s home.
Fire Chief Ken Waters said Allison Anderson, a tenant of an apartment building at 1551 Par Drive, had been smoking earlier in the evening and put out the cigarette in an ash tray.
He said two small kittens evidently knocked over the ash tray and caught the bedroom on fire, causing an estimated $90,000 damage.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 12:50 a.m. and received mutual aid from Thomasboro and Gifford departments.
“When we arrived, there was smoke and flame coming from the rear bedroom,” Waters said. “All of the tenants from that apartment were already out of the apartment.”
He said the rest of the apartment complex was also evacuated as a precaution.
Twelve Rantoul firefighters responded, and eight from Thomasboro and Gifford departments.
No injuries were reported. Waters said the family, which consisted of Anderson and three children, got their pet dog out safely. He was unsure whether the kittens were OK.
Waters said Red Cross was called to help the family.