A fire Wednesday night damaged a historic home in Alton.
According to firefighters, the blaze started at about 11 p.m. Wednesday in the basement at the rear of the 1879-vintage Watson House located on Alby Street. The flames worked their way into the walls of the home all the way up to the second floor.
The two-story brick house in the Middle Town District kept firefighters busy for several hours as they searched for hot spots. But firefighters said they believe the damage was contained and, even though part of the first floor collapsed, the structure is repairable.
According to visitalton.com, the house was designed by Alton architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger in the Second Empire/Itallianate style. It is a 13-room mansion with a three-story tower. Owner Henry Watson moved to America from England in 1859 and was the owner of two stone quarries in the Alton area and was part owner of the Alton Water Works.
No one was injured in the fire. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.