The residents of a central Pekin home lost virtually all of their belongings, including at least two pets, to smoke from an intense kitchen fire Wednesday.

While the house at 1107 N. Fifth St. was insured by its owner, its renter, identified as Jared Boyd, had no insurance to cover the possessions he, his girlfriend and two children possessed inside the single-story structure, said city Fire Chief Kurt Nelson.

No one but the pets, a dog and reportedly two cats, was home when the fire was discovered shortly after 11:30 a.m., Nelson said. Firefighters found the dog and one cat deceased inside but had not yet found a second cat Wednesday afternoon, he said.

The fire’s cause and the specific location where it started will require further investigation. “I don’t believe it’s suspicious at all,” Nelson said.

A neighbor smelled smoke in the area and drove around until he saw flames and smoke spewing from a kitchen window in the rear of the house, Nelson said. His 911 call summoned firefighters, who controlled the flames before they could spread into the rest of the house.

“Structurally, (the house) doesn’t look terrible,” and probably can be repaired, Nelson said. Smoke and water, however, caused extensive damage to contents in the home’s main floor and basement. He estimated total damage, including to contents, at $40,000.

The American Red Cross is providing temporary shelter for the four children and adults, Nelson said.

Follow Michael Smothers at