Metro-East News

Neighbor with garden hose comes to rescue; ‘He saved my house’

A van parked at a Belleville home caught fire Thursday morning. A neighbor with a garden hose is credited with preventing the fire from spreading to the house.
A van parked at a Belleville home caught fire Thursday morning. A neighbor with a garden hose is credited with preventing the fire from spreading to the house. dholtmann@bnd.com

A van parked at a Belleville home caught fire Thursday morning after a man said he was putting air in a flat tire.

Jermaine Reid said he was using a portable air compressor on the front passenger tire of his 2009 Chevrolet Traverse before the fire happened around 10:20 a.m. Thursday. The van was parked on his driveway in the 200 block of Willow Creek Drive.

He said he left it unattended for less than 10 minutes to run errands. While he was gone, he said he got a call from his wife. The van had caught fire.

Reid said a neighbor saw the van smoking. Belleville firefighters said the neighbor grabbed a hose to keep the fire in check while waiting for the fire department.

“It looks like he saved my house,” Reid said.

The air compressor appeared to have malfunctioned, Reid said. Firefighters later confirmed that the device had overheated, causing the fire.

The fire damaged the front passenger side of the vehicle.

No one was injured, and Reid’s home was not damaged.

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