A fire aided by wind destroyed a home in the 1500 block of Centreville Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.
Signal Hill and Northwest Fire District firefighters were dispatched around 3 p.m. to the home to find its rear portion engulfed in flames, sending thick, gray smoke back across Centreville Avenue toward neighboring homes.
Northwest Fire Chief Dennis Oaks said that in addition to the fire, one or two propane tanks stored behind the house “went off,” but firefighting operations were not affected by it.
It took firefighters about an hour to control the fire. Oaks said the cause of the fire hadn’t officially been determined, but said it appeared the fire started outside the house. “The wind helped spread it,” he said.
Firefighters and neighbors said the woman who owns the home doesn’t stay there often and that she wasn’t home Wednesday.
Oaks said none of his or Signal Hill’s firefighters were hurt.
St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Belleville Police officers closed Centreville Avenue in both directions while fire crews were at work.