Fire destroys rural Thomasboro home

Fire destroyed this house three miles east of Thomasboro Sunday night and Monday morning.

RURAL THOMASBORO — Firefighters from five departments fought a Sunday evening blaze that destroyed a rural Thomasboro couple’s home.

Thomasboro Fire Chief Paul Cundiff said the home of Randy Cooper and his wife was destroyed. He said they noticed a haze in their home, and he went to investigate.

“It’s looking like it’s around the flue of the fireplace,” Cundiff said. “They had a fire in the fireplace.”

A rekindle caused additional damage. Firefighters were called back out at 1:38 a.m.

The Coopers and their pet dog escaped safely.

Cundiff estimated damage at $250,000.

He said the fire was a difficult one to fight.

“The first time ... we had to cut a hole in the ceiling and roof to find the fire,” Cundiff said. “It’s a vaulted ceiling. The second time there was fire coming out of the roof. The attic was full of cellulose insulation, which made it a challenge. I’m pretty sure that was the cause of the rekindle.”

They remained on the scene until 11:30 p.m. on the first call and until about 7:30 a.m. on the second.

He said the Coopers built the house, which is about three miles east of Thomasboro 30 years ago.

They stayed with a daughter in St. Joseph following the fire.

Cundiff estimated 35 firefighters were on the scene from Thomasboro, Gifford, Rantoul, Eastern Prairie (north Champaign) and Sangamon Valley (Fisher). Carroll firefighters covered the Thomasboro station.