Fifty firefighters from across the metro-east battled a three-alarm house fire Thursday afternoon in the 8300 block of Peabody Road in Freeburg.
Freeburg Assistant Fire Chief Greg Vogel said a husband and wife were home when the fire started at 3 p.m. Thursday in the basement. Both occupants were able to escape unharmed.
It took firefighters from seven different departments an hour to get the fire under control, according to Vogel.
Freeburg Fire Department was assisted by Smithton, Fayetteville, East Side, St. Libory, Mascoutah and New Athens. Marissa Fire Department was on stand by at the Freeburg firehouse.
A MedStar ambulance was dispatched to the scene, but Vogel said the homeowners refused treatment.
The American Red Cross was called in to provide refreshments to the firefighters and assistance to the family.
Vogel said the house is not habitable as it sustained "extensive heat and smoke damage throughout." He said the basement and its contents are a total loss.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. "It appears to be accidental," Vogel said.
Several pets were inside the home at the time of the fire, he said, and all but one was located.