Fire Damages Home in Effingham


Published on November 10 2012 9:56 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Fire caused significant damage to a home in Effingham Friday night.

Effingham firefighters were called at 9:13pm to 701 West Fayette, a residence owned by Raynaldo Gonzalez and Marsol Vega of Olney.  Four people lived in the structure, Jonathan Pierce, Valerie Bosley, Dakota Pierce and Bobby Vance.  The residents arrived home and discovered the fire and notified 911.

Effingham Fire Chief Joe Holomy said the fire originated in the rear bedroom.  The cause of the fire is still being determined by the Effingham Fire Department, Effingham Police Department and the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Holomy said heavy smoke and flames were showing when fire crews reached the scene.  A full still alarm was called for a working fire, which included a change of quarters for Teutopolis and Watson firefighters that staffed the Effingham stations. 

Live power lines that had burned off the electric service to the house dropped behind the residence, creating a hazard for firefighters until Ameren arrived to shut off the power.

Holomy said the heaviest amount of fire was found at the rear of the residence coming from a bedroom.  The fire was declared under control at 9:34pm, but all companies continued to conduct overhaul operations.  One of the residents was treated at the scene by Effingham City-County Ambulance Service personnel, but was not taken for treatment.  No other injuries were reported.  Traffic on Fayette Avenue was detoured for approximately two hours due to the location of the fire companies on scene. 

Three cats died in the residence as the result of smoke inhalation.

Holomy said the entire home sustained heavy heat and smoke damage.  He estimated damage to the structure at $40,000 and termed all personal items a total loss.  Holomy said there were working smoke detectors in the residence.

The four occupants of the home stayed with friends Friday night and met with Red Cross officials Saturday to decide on accommodations.

Fire investigators cleared the scene at 2:10am Saturday and remaining fire crews cleared the scene at 3:09am Saturday.