A quick-burning fire destroyed a Belleville home Friday night, leaving nothing but a charred structure behind.
Belleville Fire Chief Tom Pour said the initial call, which came in at 10:13 p.m., was of heavy fire and smoke showing. When the first truck arrived, they found heavy flames and knocked them down quickly.
But because the fire was in the basement, it quickly spread to the attic of the house, which was at the intersection of West Main Street and North 74th Street.
“There was no way to stop the fire at that point,” Pour said.
No one was in the house at the time of the blaze, and the homeowner arrived back home just after midnight.
The fire was extinguished by 11:30 p.m. Friday, leaving the house a total loss. One firefighter was slightly injured early in the night with a sprained ankle, and a few others had small ankle injuries as well from recently finished pavement that left a ledge from the road to the driveway. Another firefighter was checked out on scene for heat-related injuries, but did not need to go to the hospital.
Investigators still need to inspect the house to determine the cause, something Pour said would be dangerous in the charred remains. With a basement fire and no easy-access windows to ventilate the area, it creates almost a fire pit down in the basement, and turns the stairway into a chimney. It’s hard to get down to the root of the fire when the smoke and flames are heavy.
The fire department called in a second alarm about a half hour into the blaze and also asked for three other departments to be on standby in case of any other fires in the city.
“We need everyone we can here, but we still need to protect the city,” Pour said.