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Cause of fire near Leaf River remains under investigation

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Photo courtesy of the Mount Morris Fire Department)
Firefighters from several area departments battle a blaze Sunday that destroyed the home of Steve and Jennifer Beltran about 2 miles north of Leaf River. In the foreground is Byron Assistant Chief Orin Snodgrass.

No cause had yet been determined Tuesday for a fire that destroyed the home and possessions of a Leaf River family on Sunday.

Leaf River Assistant Fire Chief Josh Lamping said the state fire marshal is assisting with the fire investigation at the home of Steve and Jennifer Beltran, 9458 N. Leaf River Rd., about 2 miles north of Leaf River.

He said the couple and their four children were not at home when the fire started. The family had gone to a parade in nearby German Valley.

Nearly 100 firefighters from at least 11 area departments battled the fire, which was reported by a passing motorist at 1:50 p.m.

“The house was completely engulfed in flames when we got there,” Lamping said.

Tankers and firefighters were called to help from the Mount Morris, Forreston, Polo, Oregon, German Valley, Byron, Stillman Valley, Pecatonica, Freeport Rural, and Lynn Scott Rock fire departments.

One firefighter was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion but did not require hospitalization.

Lamping said Sunday that the family’s dog had not yet been located. He said it was not certain whether the dog died in the fire or escaped the burning house.

The Red Cross is assisting the Beltran family.

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