A Christmas morning fire caused $80,000 in damage and left a cat dead at a home in Wauconda, fire officials said.
The Wauconda Fire District responded at 7:13 a.m. Tuesday morning to a house fire in the 500 block of Brown Street in Wauconda after a passerby called 911.
Firefighters found smoke coming from the roof of a two-story home and found a fire on the first floor after making entry. No one was home at the time of the fire but two cats were inside.
Wauconda Fire District Battalion Chief Patrick Kane said that after firefighters extinguished the fire they found one of the cats had died and a second cat was uninjured inside the home.
Members of the Wauconda Fire District Investigation Unit determined that the fire started in the family room by unattended candles. Damage was estimated at $80,000 and the residence was left uninhabitable.
The homeowner is staying with family members, Kane said.
The Wauconda Fire District was assisted at the scene by firefighters from Lake Zurich, Countryside, Nunda-Rural, Round Lake and McHenry. Crews from Grayslake and Fox River Grove covered calls for Wauconda.