A fire that sent flames through the roof of the home at 3820 Cleveland Ave. in Brookfield on Dec. 3 appears to have started in the attic as the result of an electrical malfunction, according to Fire Chief Jim Adams.

Investigators are still trying to determine the precise cause of the fire, which ignited just prior to 5:30 p.m., but it caused heavy fire damage to the attic and roof of two-story frame home, with the first and second floors sustaining heavy water damage. Adams said the fire appears to have been accidental in nature.

Two residents inside the home at the time were notified by a neighbor that smoke was pouring from the roof and they were able to exit the residence without injury. 

Police who interviewed the residents of the home reported that shortly before the neighbor informed them of the fire, the power went out in two upstairs bedrooms. One of the homeowners checked the circuit breaker panel in the basement and saw the switch tripped, but he was unable to re-engage power.

A few minutes later, one of the residents began to smell smoke and the neighbor knocked on the front door to report the fire.

A police officer who arrived first at the scene reported that the entire 3800 block of Cleveland Avenue appeared to be covered by a blanket of smoke, while firefighters arriving a few minutes later reported smoke and fire coming through the roof.

According to Adams, the fire was under control in about 20 minutes, but crews remained on scene until about 7 p.m. Brookfield firefighters were assisted in combating the fire by units from LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Riverside, Lyons, McCook, Westmont, Western Springs, Oak Brook and Forest View.

Adams said the fire was not related to holiday decorations or the cold weather, but he took the occasion to remind Brookfield residents to be cautious when using space heaters, avoid overloading extension cords and keep natural Christmas trees watered.

A fundraiser has been initiated to assist the family, who lost many personal belongings in the fire, with nearly $9,000 collected since the effort was started Dec. 5. If you would like to donate toward the effort, you can do so by clicking here.