Metro-East News

Firefighters rescue girl from basement of burning metro-east home

Alton firefighters rescued a 13-year-old girl from the basement of a burning home Tuesday afternoon, saving her and several other people who were in the house at the time the flames ignited.

Deputy Fire Chief Mark Harris said the crews responded to the fire just after 4 p.m. When they got to the house, at 609 Marsh Ave., they found the house in flames and a girl trapped in the basement with barred windows.

Crews split up to focus on fighting the fire and breaking into the basement.

Harris said Capt. Dan Whiteside and firefighter Ben Taylor were able to find and enter a small basement window.

“When Capt. Whiteside entered the basement, he could hear the child crying,” Harris said. “... We were able to get her out before the smoke got to her.”

The one-structure house was significantly damaged; however, all six people inside were unharmed.

A cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but Harris said they believe it was cooking-related.

“The police department did an outstanding job; they restrained two men trying to re-enter the structure,” Harris added.