A Shiloh family was displaced but nobody was injured in the fire that destroyed a home in the 900 block of Calista Ridge Drive Friday night.
Homeowner Michelle Turner and her family were not home when their alarm company called to say a fire alarm was activated in the house around 8:50 p.m. By the time they arrived, she said, the home her family has lived in for almost 11 years was engulfed and the neighborhood was blanketed in thick, gray smoke.
“Our neighbors saw the fire, busted in and grabbed the dogs,” Turner said from a neighbor’s lawn. The family’s two yellow labs were safe in a cage nearby. One of the neighbors who helped rescue the dogs lost their home to a fire three years ago, Turner said.
A cat, a chinchilla, a fish and a bird remained unaccounted for.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
“You just hope it’s a false alarm, you know?” Turner said.
The family made arrangements to stay with relatives.
O’Fallon Fire Chief Brent Saunders said when his crews arrived shortly after 9 p.m., flames and smoke were pouring from the home.
“Heavy fire in the kitchen area on the first floor,” Saunders said. “It extended out a window and up to the attic area. Right through the eaves and into the attic.”
A gaping hole from the area of the rear kitchen window was visible and most of the two-story home’s roof caved in. To control the fire, crews were forced to attack the flames from atop a ladder in addition to entering the home to douse the flames from inside.
Firefighters from Lebanon and Fairview Heights assisted the O’Fallon Fire Department.