A Millstadt area tavern was seriously damaged by fire early Monday morning while a vacant home just down the road caught fire at about the same time.
“We don’t know that for sure,” Millstadt firefighter Mike Weis said about whether emergency responders believed the fires were intentionally set, happening minutes apart in buildings a couple miles away from each other on the same highway. “We won’t know until the investigation is complete.”
Weis said it will likely take the State Fire Marshal’s Office about two weeks to complete its investigation.
The Kountry Korners Tavern at 5866 Floraville Road was reported to be fully involved in flames at just before 5:49 a.m. Monday. The home that caught fire is in the 400 block of North Jefferson. That blaze was reported at 6:20 a.m.
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Floraville Road and Jefferson are the same two-lane highway but the name changes at the four-way stop in the center of Millstadt.
Weis said it is believed both fires started in the attics of the structures.
Both Floraville Road and North Jefferson were blocked in both directions while firefighters battled the blazes. First responders were able to keep the fires from spreading. Both buildings appeared to be total losses with their roofs caved in.
Millstadt’s small volunteer fire department had its hands full fighting two fires at the same time, Weis said.
“Fortunately, we had plenty of mutual aid,” Weis said.
Multiple fire departments arrived to assist the Millstadt Fire Department at the two fires. Firefighters from Columbia, Prairie DuPont, Northwest, Smithton, Villa Hills and Waterloo departments were seen helping out.
Fire crews asked for a salt truck to melt ice that formed on the road from efforts to douse the flames.
There was no immediate word on what caused the fires. Kountry Korners has been open for business but was closed at the time the fire started.