WASHINGTON PARK — A fire early Wednesday behind a vacant house spread to two other buildings, plus another fire started in a house where a man died nearly a year ago.
The first fire was at 1:20 a.m. in the rear of a vacant house at 5815 Forest Blvd., which sits behind a commercial building, Fire Chief Kenyatta Moore said. The house fire caught part of the commercial building and sent flames shooting everywhere, he said.
Flames from the commercial building then started a fire in an occupied house at 5817 Forest Blvd.
A separate fire led firefighters to the 6100 block of Forest Avenue. The house has been vacant since a man died there in March.
"This house was vacant and now it's burned to the ground," Moore said.
Moore said the fires are suspicious.
"The state fire marshal has been called to investigate them. This is the second fire within a week in the same general area. We fought a fire in a vacant structure last Thursday in the 5100 block of Forest," Moore said.
More than 20 firefighters were involved in fighting the blazes, including firefighters from Caseyville, French Village, State Park Place, Golden Gardens and Camp Jackson fire departments.
"It was a total team effort and no one was injured. We thank everybody who came out and helped us," Moore said.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.