A fire that started on the first floor of an apartment building in the 1700 block of State Street on Tuesday caused three families to be displaced.
Assistant East St. Louis Fire Chief Michael Dill said the fire department received an emergency call from 1713 State Street at 5:59 p.m. Tuesday evening. Engine Company 422 arrived at 6:08 p.m.; Engine Company 425 arrived at 6:09 p.m.
“They found fire was shooting from the back porch door and the window in the kitchen,” Dill said. “The sky was filled with super heavy black smoke and it was pouring from the building.
“We were trying to find out if everyone was out. There was so many people out there. Thankfully, everyone was out,” Dill said. There were some children among the adults who were living in three of the apartments. No injuries were reported; one of the apartments was vacant.
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Dill said the fire started in apartment B on the east side of the building. The woman, who appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s, told firemen she had been cooking in the kitchen. Her apartment sustained extensive fire, water and smoke damage.
Firefighters had the blaze under control within 30 minutes but remained on scene for another 2 1/2 hours, Dill said.
Red Cross volunteers were on scene and provided assistance for the residents. In all, 14 people received assistance, said Lesley Sterling of the Red Cross.