Metro-East News

Accidental gas spill leads to house fire in Avery Hill

An accidental gas spill led to a structure fire Wednesday night that damaged a home in Avery Hill near Belleville’s northwest side.

Chris Goodwin said he was walking into his residence at 627 Penn St. when he accidentally knocked a gas can down some stairs. Gas spilled out of the can and near a heater, which sparked the blaze.

“It’s my own fault,” Goodwin said as members with the Northwest Fire Protection District worked on the residence around 5:30 p.m.

Northwest Fire Chief Chester Borkowski said his department received a call around 5:05 p.m. about a structure fire. He said his department was able to get the fire out quickly. Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour.

“When we arrived there was heavy fire and smoke conditions coming out of the east side of the structure,” Borkowski said.

No one was injured. Borkowski said there was significant damage in a hallway and that there was smoke damage throughout the two-story structure.

Goodwin said no one is living there currently. He had been renovating the residence in anticipation of making it available for rent. Borkowski said Goodwin was lucky to get out of the residence safely.

“He’s fortunate that he got out without any injuries,” Borkowski said. “It could have been a lot worse. By him calling 911, he got the proper people here and personnel got on the scene right away which minimized the damage.”

Firefighters from Belleville, Signal Hill and Villa Hills assisted at the scene.

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND