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First responders rescue 2 pets from house fire near Crystal Lake

Blaze causes $50K in damage; no one injured

McHenry County Board member John Reinert snapped a photo from his airplane of a fire in the 9500 block of Ballard Road near Crystal Lake.
McHenry County Board member John Reinert snapped a photo from his airplane of a fire in the 9500 block of Ballard Road near Crystal Lake.

A Tuesday night house fire displaced a family and their pets.

The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department responded about 5 p.m. Tuesday to the scene of a reported fire in unincorporated Crystal Lake.

A passer-by saw smoke coming from the back of a single-family ranch home in the 9500 block of Ballard Road, Crystal Lake Fire Chief Paul DeRaedt said in a news release.

First responders noticed smoke coming from the roof when they arrived at the scene and found the fire in the bathroom and attic space above the bathroom, DeRaedt said.

No one was home at the time, and firefighters rescued a cat and dog.

“Both animals are doing well and have been reunited with their owners,” DeRaedt said.

Officials with the McHenry County Planning and Development Department have deemed the home uninhabitable.

The estimated cost of damage is $50,000 for the structure and its contents.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The home is in an area without fire hydrants, so units from the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills, Barrington Countryside, Carpentersville, Cary, Huntley, Marengo, McHenry Township, Nunda Rural, West Dundee, Union, Wonder Lake and Woodstock departments assisted.

A view from the air

McHenry County Board member John Reinert got a bird’s eye view of the blaze.

Sitting in the pilot’s chair of his 1946 Taylorcraft single-propeller airplane, Reinert was flying over Crystal Lake when he looked down and saw smoke billowing from the home on Ballard Road.

He snapped a handful of photos and sent them to the Northwest Herald.

Reinert, a board member representing District 2, has been a pilot since he was a “young guy,” he said.

The airplane had belonged to his father-in-law, who bought it in the 1950s. Reinert restored it in 1998.

• Northwest Herald Reporter Ed Komenda contributed to this report.

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