Metro-East News

Belleville house ‘appears to be total loss’ after wind drives flames during fire

Wind-driven flames damage Belleville home

A home in Belleville, IL appears to have suffered severe damage because of wind-driven flames. Several fire departments responded to the home located near Southwestern Illinois College.
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A home in Belleville, IL appears to have suffered severe damage because of wind-driven flames. Several fire departments responded to the home located near Southwestern Illinois College.

A Belleville home “appears to be a total loss” after it caught fire on a particularly windy Wednesday afternoon.

Crews responded to the scene in the 400 block of Windrift Drive just before 3 p.m., said J.P. Penet of the Belleville Fire Department. Belleville, Swansea, Northwest and Fairview fire departments were called as mutual aid for the original responding agency, East Side Fire.

Penet said that excessive winds drove the flames throughout the house, causing extensive fire and smoke damage.

“It’s very difficult when you have wind pushing the fire throughout the property,” he said. “We’re trying our best to catch up with it.”

About 15 to 25 firefighters were on scene battling the blaze.

The cause of the fire was unknown on Wednesday night.

Penet said no one who lives in the home was injured and that, coincidentally, the family’s dog was at the vet at the time. There was no exposure to neighboring homes.

According to Penet, a sprinkler system would have “significantly reduced damage” to the home.

Belleville Assistant Fire Chief J.P. Penet explains how a sprinkler system can save a home in a fire. Firefighters showed a demonstration during a training exercise the fire department held Wednesday in a vacant home.

Hana Muslic has been working the public safety beat for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.


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