Firefighters battled a blaze in the 200 block of Meckfessel Drive in Fairview Heights early Thursday morning.
Fairview Fire Chief Bryan Doyle said no one was hurt in the fire, but officials at the scene said it appeared that vagrants had been occupying the vacant home. They found mattresses on the floor inside the home and flashlights that were on.
“The fire may have started from them trying to stay warm, but we will do an investigation to determine that,” Doyle said. “No one was inside. The back door was open, so they probably exited through the back door of the house.”
The front of the home appeared to be damaged in the fire, and officials said they had been working at the scene since around 5:15 a.m.
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The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Firefighters from O’Fallon, French Village and Northwest St. Clair County fire departments assisted. Police officers from Fairview Heights also assisted.