Mother, children displaced in fire

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Firefighters from three departments responded Thursday morning to a fire that engulfed a rural Champaign County residence and displaced a mother and three children.

West Liberty, Urbana and North Lewisburg fire departments responded about 8 a.m. to 4929 Game Farm Road in rural Champaign County.

The blaze reportedly began in the center of the residence and was caused by malfunctioning space heaters. Estimates are still being compiled, but damage to the home was extensive.

Michelle Runkle and three children under 15 were displaced and are being assisted by the Champaign County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The residence is owned by Billy and Marcella Ratcliff, according to records from the Champaign County Auditor’s Office.  

Firefighters were on scene for about five hours. No one was injured.