Springfield fire, police investigating 2 house fires in 2 days

Springfield police and fire divisions are investigating two fires that happened on the first two days of the new year.

Officials are investigating a New Year’s Day fire that happened at a vacant duplex on East Rose Street near Clifton Avenue as an arson, according to a Springfield police report.

Police responded around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to the fire in the 200 block and saw smoke and flames coming from the residence.

Area residents also reported seeing flames coming from the house.

“We had a fully involved vacant structure,” Capt. Charles Alexander of the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division said. “It’s a total loss.”

When firefighters arrived, they were able to get the fire under control and extinguished, the report says.

RELATED: Fire in ‘total loss’ vacant house being investigated as an arson

“Springfield Fire later advised that the property did not have electricity on at the time of the fire,” the report says. “Due to the property being vacant and no utilities being on at the time of the fire, Springfield Fire Battalion Chief advised that the fire was suspicious in nature.”

No firefighters or residents were injured as a result of this fire, and no suspect information was available.

Officials are also investigating a second fire were two people were taken to local hospitals after a fire broke out on the second story of a two-unit house on East Southern Avenue.

Crews responded around 11:10 p.m. Thursday to the 400 block on a report of a house fire with people jumping from the second floor.

“Upon arrival we found a pretty chaotic scene” with about 15 people outside the burning building, said Battalion Chief Jeremy Linn of the Springfield Fire Division.

“Two people were trapped inside the house after it caught fire,” Linn said. “We had at least one female that jumped from the second-floor window down to the outside yard and we had a young man that had some cuts to his hand from breaking out a window.”

Both were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, including smoke inhalation, and cuts and scrapes.

The fire was contained to the second-floor apartment, where about six or seven people were when the fire broke out, and there were also several people in the first-floor apartment as well.

Roy Harris, who lives next door and is friends with the family that lived on the first-floor, said “they lost everything” and that the fire may have started in the upstairs kitchen.

“They said they had a grease fire upstairs,” he said. “It really gutted the whole inside of the house.”

RELATED: People jump from 2nd floor of burning house in Springfield

Linn said Thursday night that he believes there were no working smoke detectors.

“This one could have been much different. This place was full of a lot of people,” Linn said.

In addition to the fire damage upstairs, the house sustained significant water damage throughout that also harmed the wiring so First Energy removed the meter, Linn said.

The American Red Cross was called to assist the displaced residents.

The exact cause of both fires remains under investigation.


2: Number of house fires this year so far

298: Number of fire calls in 2019

127: Number of firefighters employed by the Springfield Fire Division

The Springfield News-Suns is committed to covering the Clark and Champaign county fire departments and their efforts to keep the community safe.

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