Fire Destroys House North of Altamont

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Published on February 1 2013 4:09 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Fire destroyed a house north of Altamont early Friday morning.

The call came just after 2am to the home of the Jesse Purgerson family.  The property is located three miles north and 1-1/2 miles east of Altamont is owned by Purgerson's grandparents, Sam and Maggie Priess.

Altamont Fire Chief Jon Becker said the fire appears to have been caused by a wood-burning stove that was used to help heat the house.  Becker said the stove was in an enclosed shelter.  He said the stove malfunctioned and burned the shelter away and the fire had started moving into the house when firefighters reached the scene.

Becker said the strong winds and extreme cold hampered firefighters in their efforts to battle the fire.  He said the house is a total loss.

No one was injured; the family was home at the time of the fire, but got out safely.

Becker said firefighters cleared the scene close to 7am.  He said cleanup was lengthy due to frozen lines and equipment.

Altamont firefighters were assisted at the scene by fire companies from Watson, Shumway, St. Elmo, Brownstown, Edgewood and Beecher City.  Becker said Watson and Edgewood brought tanker trucks to the scene to help haul water.  Brownstown staffed the Altamont station since Altamont firefighters were at the fire scene.  Altamont Ambulance Service and Effingham County Sheriff's Department assisted at the scene.