A lone firefighter is credited with preventing a Thursday morning blaze from spreading from a vacant Washington Park home to occupied residences nearby.
The fire started about 1:30 a.m. in a small, empty house at 5707 Westmoreland Place, according to fire department reports.
But because of cuts to the Washington Park Fire Department that eliminated all but one paid employee last year, only one person fought the flames until more volunteer help from Washington Park and the Caseyville and State Park Place fire departments showed up about a half hour later.
No one was injured in the blaze, which was contained to the vacant house. The building was a complete loss.