CAHOKIA, Il. (KTVI)- A mother drives up to her Cahokia home with her young daughter Tuesday morning to find it engulfed in flames.
Now, the home is a total loss and the search for a cause is underway.
"As I was coming down the street I noticed like smoke and stuff. I just thought somebody was burning something. And then when I pulled up, my neighbor was in the driveway with the police sirens, and there were flames and stuff just coming out," explained 39-year-old Serrae Kirk.
Kirk arrived at her home with her seven-year-old daughter around 6:45am to find the terrible scene.
Flames were consuming the home at Judith Lane and Fallings Springs Road in Cahokia.
Serrae says she and her daughter had spent the night at a friend`s house and were returning home so the young girl could get ready for school.
"I feel like I`m in a dream-sick to my stomach," said Kirk.
The Cahokia Fire Chief, Stephen Robbins, says when he first got the call, he was told there were two people possibly trapped inside the home.
But when Robbins got to the home, he found out nobody was in the house.
Crews from seven different departments responded to the two alarm fire.
But the home couldn`t be saved.
"When we got here, heavy fire was blowing out the back and the side; heavy, dark, thick black smoke was blowing out all the other windows around the house," said Robbins.
Hours after the initial call, smoke was still coming from the home.
A burned bicycle that was a Christmas present for Serrae`s daughter was outside in the yard.
Even though they lost basically everything they had, Serrae was thankful that she and her daughter weren`t home when the fire happened.
She told us, "I`m just glad that you know she`s ok, and I`m ok because it could have been much worse."
Serrae says she and her daughter smelled something burning in the home a couple of days ago.
But they didn`t find anything and didn`t think much of it.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal has been called in to find a cause but the Cahokia Fire Chief doesn`t think the fire is suspicious.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital as a precaution for chest pains.
If you want to help Serrae and her daughter, you can email her friend Elizabeth Henson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serrae also has a 21-year-old daughter away in the Navy.