The alertness of a Rochelle police officer early this morning prevented 5 local residents from suffering serious injuries involving a fire at a 3-story house in the downtown area.
The blaze was noticed at around 1:15 as the officer saw flames and smoke coming from the back of the residence at 422 2nd Avenue.
Officers were able to get the 5 residents out of the home without injuries.
The incident is now an arson investigation.
Rochelle Fire Department Lieutenant Jason Underwood said the major problem this morning in the house was the smoke. The blaze started near a table in a hallway.
The State Fire Marshall's office is assisting in the investigation as the cause of the flames has yet to be determined.
Emergency personnel also responded to a trash can on fire this morning at around 3:30 in the 500 block of South 3rd Street. The cause also remains under investigation.