STERLING – Alert citizens quickly spotted a fire at a local storage facility Wednesday evening, helping keep damage to contents to a minimum, local fire officials said.
Bystanders saw flames coming from a back unit of Lincolnway Mini-Storage and called 911 at 7:33 p.m., said Rock Falls Deputy Chief Bill Milby.
Fire crews arrived on scene, 4505 E. Lincolnway, and put out the fire at its source within 15 minutes, Milby said, with ancillary fire and smoke extinguished within 45 minutes.
The fire started in a single unit and spread to the units on each side of it as well as to one on the opposite side of the long, single-story storage building, Milby said.
No injuries were reported.
Milby said he had no definitive cause of the fire, and that there was no power source to the storage unit. There were reports of a vehicle leaving the fire scene, he added.
Nearly 20 minutes after the fire had been put out, the storage unit’s charred contents were spread out on the ground. They consisted mostly of furniture and boxes.
The fire spread to the particle board walls of the units on either side, but damage to the contents of those units appeared to be minimal. There was smoke and water damage to the other units, Milby said.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal will investigate the fire.
In addition to the Twin City Joint Fire Command, made up of the Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments, the Sterling Police Department and the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department responded.