File Photo – Zion Fire Rescue Department | Provided Photo

No injuries were reported after a fire started outside and spread to a home, leaving it and a second residence damaged in Zion Saturday afternoon, fire officials said.

The Zion Fire Rescue Department responded around 1:42 p.m. Saturday to the 2900 block of Gilboa Avenue for a report of a structure fire.

Zion Fire Rescue Department Lt. Ian Kennedy said crews arrived to find light smoke showing from the exterior.

Smoke was also found inside the home, which was unoccupied as the residents had already evacuated.

The fire had also damaged the siding of the home next door.

Kennedy said a quick fire attack was made to extinguish the fire and extensive overhaul was performed both inside and outside the home due to the fire extending into the siding.

Crews ventilated smoke from the basement and main level of the first home after confirming there was no more active fire.

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The Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor and Newport fire departments assisted at the scene.

The Newport, North Chicago, Zion and Antioch fire departments handled multiple separate ambulance calls during the fire.

Kennedy said no injuries were reported and damage was estimated at $20,000. Both homes are still habitable.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but is believed to have been caused by someone dumping hot ashes into a plastic container next to the house, Kennedy said.

The ashes or coals quickly caught the plastic on fire and caused a flame condition, which penetrated the wall and got into the home.

The fire department said residents are urged to properly dispose of hot ashes in metal containers away from buildings.

Cooling hot ashes, coals or unattended recreational campfires with water diminishes the risk of fire afterward.

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