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Bird nest causes extra-alarm fire in Aurora

Sun-Times file photo

A bird nest built on top of a front porch light caused an extra-alarm fire that spread to two buildings Tuesday evening in west suburban Aurora, causing an estimated $250,000 in damages.

Firefighters responding at 6:14 p.m. to a blaze in a vacant two-story townhome in the 3900 block of Blackstone Drive found heavy smoke showing from the front, according to the Aurora Fire Department. The fire was upgraded to a third alarm and 35 firefighters eventually responded.

Residents who lived on both sides of the building were able to get out, fire officials said. The blaze spread to both next door homes, one of which sustained heavy damage to the attic area. The other had minor exterior fire damage and light smoke damage in the interior.

The blaze was extinguished about 90 minutes after firefighters responded. No injuries were reported.

The vacant townhome and the building with damage to the attic were both deemed uninhabitable, and five people were displaced, fire officials said. The Red Cross and Victims Services were not called because the residents planned to stay with nearby family.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental because a bird nest was built on top of an exterior front porch light that had been left on, fire officials said. The total fire damage to both houses, including contents and structures, was estimated at $250,000.