A fire that started on a gas grill during a cookout severely damaged a home in Smithton late Sunday afternoon.
Smithton and Freeburg fire departments were called to a home in the 5300 block of White Oak Drive around 5 p.m., Smithton Fire Chief Mike Schutzenhofer said. Seeing heavy smoke upon arrival, he called for additional help; Millstadt, Hecker and Northwest fire departments also responded.
Firefighters were initially repelled by the fire after their initial attack at the lakeside home, Schutzenhofer said. The main part of the fire, which started behind the house, took about 30 to 45 minutes to tamp down, and then firefighters reentered the home.
One of the homeowners reported a minor burn to his arm, and, at one point, a ceiling had fallen on the firefighters, but they were checked out and found to be OK, Schutzenhofer said.
After the fire, crews helped the homeowners recover some of their belongings.