A Capitol Hill house where Sen. Barack Obama rents an apartment caught on fire Sunday, but a spokesman said the Democratic presidential contender was out of town to celebrate Father's Day.

The fire appeared to be on the third floor of a townhouse in northeast Washington, and was likely caused by an old fan that had malfunctioned, said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs. Obama rents an apartment on the second floor, Gibbs said.

Obama, D-Ill., was with his family in Chicago on Sunday, Father's Day, Gibbs said.

The D.C. fire department did not have an immediate comment.