Randolph County Herald Tribune - Chester, IL
  • Residents safe after first fire of 2017

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  • Two Chester residents safely escaped a house fire at 527 Buena Vista St. on Wednesday morning, the first blaze of the new year in the city.

    Chester firefighters were called to the residence at 7:04 a.m. on the report of a smoke detector going off and a house filling with smoke.

    “We think it started in the basement,” said Chester Fire Chief Marty Bert.

    The residents, Tom Durkee and his wife, made it out unharmed. Bert said that after being alerted to the fire, Durkee moved his truck out of the driveway and heard a nearby power line pop and fall to the ground.

    Bert added that smoke and fire were coming out of the back of the house when firefighters arrived. He does not have a preliminary ruling on the cause of the blaze, but is leaning toward it being electrical in nature.

    There is smoke damage to the entire structure, while the back half - which includes a porch and laundry room - is destroyed.

    The incident was not without injury, however, as MedStar Ambulance treated one firefighter for a possible broken leg due to falling on the freezing water around the house.

    Ellis Grove and Steeleville fire departments were also paged to the scene to help provide manpower.

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