A fire possibly caused by firework embers destroyed a house on Floraville Road early Wednesday morning, leaving five people without a home.
Homeowner Joli Hern said her elderly mother, daughter, grandson, son and the son’s girlfriend were sleeping when the fire broke out. Hern’s mother barely made it out of the house and had to be pulled out by a Millstadt police officer, Hern said.
“They didn’t get out until the last minute,” Hern said.
No one was injured, but the family was displaced from their home. The roof collapsed during the fire and only a few walls remained. The family was at the home later Wednesday morning looking through the ruins. Only a few books, some crystal glasses and a few keepsakes remained.
The fire likely started sometime around 4 a.m. on the back porch, but a fire alarm in the house failed to go off, Hern said. Hern’s mother alerted the family to the fire. By 5 a.m., the home was engulfed in flames.
Hern said she plans to rebuild the home she and her family have lived in for 20 years.
“We worked hard on this house,” Hern said. “I’m very particular. I liked everything just-so, but I haven’t cried yet.”
Firefighters from four departments battled the fire, including Smithton, Columbia, Villa Hills and Hecker.
Millstadt police and St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputies also responded to the fire.