PEKIN — A powerful fire, possibly fueled by an explosion, rapidly and heavily damaged a home’s unattached garage north of downtown Pekin Friday, but apparently left no one injured.

Flames and thick black smoke billowed quickly from the small structure at 200 Hamilton St. at about 3:15 p.m.

The fire spread to the attic of the property’s 1 1/2-story home, an overhanging tree and a small adjacent shed, while its intense heat damaged siding on a next-door home, said Pekin Fire Chief Kurt Nelson.

Flames as high as 25 feet also may have damaged electrical wiring that stretched above the garage, Nelson said.

The fire’s cause remained undetermined pending an investigation in which police are seeking witnesses to the flaming outburst.

“It sounds like the fire began before a reported explosion” in the garage, Nelson said. “The fire was well into the garage prior to any explosion.”

Firefighters found no one inside the home when they arrived but don’t yet know if it was occupied and residents escaped.

The fire was controlled within minutes after firefighters arrived, though outbursts of flames continued for a half-hour.

The property is listed for taxing purposes under Mary K. Tibbs, according to the Tazewell County Supervisor of Assessments Office.

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