Crime

Firefighter killed, two injured when portion of burning building collapses

Update on Godfrey firefighters injured in March 5 fire

During a news conference on March 6, 2019, Chief Erik Kambarian gave an update on the firefighters injured and killed while fighting a house fire March 5 in Bethalto.
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During a news conference on March 6, 2019, Chief Erik Kambarian gave an update on the firefighters injured and killed while fighting a house fire March 5 in Bethalto.

The cause of a fire that took a fireman’s life is under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office.

Godfrey Fire Department Capt. Jacob “Jake” Ringering died from the injuries he received when a portion of the brick structure at 4604 Culp Lane, Bethalto, collapsed while he and other crew members were fighting the blaze.

Firefighter Luke Warner was taken to a St. Louis hospital by helicopter and is in stable condition, a press release on the Godfrey Fire Department’s website said. A fire department official said Ringering is married and has three young children. He has worked with the department since 2010.

Two other injured fire fighters were treated at St. Louis area hospitals and released. They have not been identified by police or their fire departments.

The Madison County Sheriff’s office received a call to the fire Tuesday at approximately 4:16 p.m. The sheriff’s department dispatched the Fosterburg Fire Department to the scene, Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. T. Mike Dixon said.

Fosterburg requested mutual aid from the Bethalto, Cottage Hills, Brighton, Dorsey and Godfrey Fire Departments. While fire crews were fighting the blaze, a portion of the structure collapsed. Four fire fighters were injured. Alton Memorial Ambulance, Lifestar Ambulance and Survival Flight Helicopter were used to transport the injured firefighters to St. Louis area hospitals.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office are working closely together to determine the cause of the fire, Dixon said. The Godfrey Fire Department rescheduled a 9 a.m. news conference to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

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Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.
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