Two evening fires Saturday (July 28) in Herculaneum forced firefighters to bolt from one to the other with no break, authorities reported.
“We were just getting done with the first when we got the call for the second,” said Capt. Kevin Baker of the Herculaneum Fire Department.
The department received the first call at 6:45 p.m. from neighbors of a home at 579 Crane St. The residents of the single-story residence were not home, Baker said.
“The deck was on fire,” he said. “When we arrived – it was kind of a deck-porch combination – it was well involved. We pulled a hose line off and made an attack on the porch.”
He said firefighters largely contained the blaze, but it destroyed half of the deck-porch and even the part still standing will need to be taken down because it is unsafe.
“The fire charred the siding, but did not penetrate inside,” Baker said. “There was some smoke damage inside.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, he said. No one was hurt battling the fire.
Firefighters from Festus and Crystal City also responded to the call.
Baker said firefighters were about to put away their equipment and leave when the second fire call arrived at 7:39 p.m. They left a hose attached to a fireplug and sped to the second call, at 809 Whitney Circle in the Westchester subdivision.
He said a man and a woman were home at the time of the blaze and escaped unharmed.
“Since Crystal City was our move-up company, they were first on scene at a split-foyer house,” he said. “When they arrived, they had heavy fire from the back of the house, in the kitchen.”
Firefighters limited the damage, Baker said, but the residents were not allowed to immediately return to the home.
“The fire got into the attic and it went all through the attic,” he said. “The kitchen burned a little. The main damage was in the attic. All the rest of the house should be fine, but I don’t know what insurance will do with all the water damage.”
The residents were rescuing their pets when firefighters arrived, Baker said.
“We pulled a hamster out and the family got the other pets out,” he said. “I know there was one dog – maybe two – and two cats. Everyone got out.”
Firefighters remained on scene until 11:23 p.m. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion, Baker said.
Baker said the second fire also appears to have started on a deck.
“I don’t believe they’re intentional or related,” he said. “It looks like an accident. It is under investigation.”
Firefighters from Festus, Antonia, Dunklin, Rock Community and Mapaville also responded to the scene.
This home at 809 Whitney Circle in Herculaneum was damaged in a Saturday evening fire.
–Kevin Carbery story and photo