BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Firefighters rescued a young boy from a devastating house fire in Belleville, Illinois, Tuesday morning.
One woman died and three people were injured in the fire, which broke out at a home in the 600 block of Rodenmeyer Avenue off McKinley around 6:45 a.m. FOX 2’s Bommarito Automotive Group SkyFOX flew over the scene.
When crews arrived, two men were standing outside after escaping the burning home. Firefighters rushed inside the residence and found a boy, believed to be 3 or 4 years old, hiding in a front room.
“They fought their way in through the smoke and found a toddler and brought the toddler out,” said Belleville Fire Chief J.P. Penet.
The firefighters went back inside the home and found a woman next to the kitchen. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The two men and the child were taken by ambulance to a hospital.
While the cause of Tuesday morning’s fire remains under investigation, Penet warned about the dangers of using alternative heat sources.
“This time of year, a lot of people use their supplemental heaters as a heating source,” the fire chief said. “Whether it’s a space heater or whatever. Newer ones are designed to turn off if they’re tipped over. Older ones may not have that protection, or they might have an exposed heating element.”
“Newer space heaters are much safer than others, but we should always give space heaters space, at least three feet,” Penet continued. “At times when people don’t try and do that or they try and use candles or open flames as heating devices, it’s a recipe for disaster.”
Penet also reminded everyone to have working smoke detectors in every area of the home where someone is sleeping.