Family makes it out of burning home in Cahokia Heights thanks to neighbor


CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill. – A family made it out of their home safely after a neighbor alerted the homeowner that it was on fire.

Six area fire departments worked to knock out the blaze located on St. Bartholomew Street in Cahokia Heights. No injuries were reported.

The homeowner was unaware that a fire was raging until a neighbor sprang into action.

“I was just laying in bed watching tv with the dogs when somebody knocked on the door,” the homeowner said.

The homeowner, who chose not to be identified, found that the knock at the door may have saved her life.

“So I’m just beating on their door, and I asked, ‘do you know your house is on fire? Are you burning something in the back?’ And she said no and so she came out of the house,” neighbor Dee Harris said.

Bommarito Automotive Skyfox was over the scene capturing the smoke and flames coming from the house.

Cahokia Volunteer Fire Department said the fire started in the back and the blaze quickly engulfed the rest of the house, forcing the mother and daughter to flee.

“I was like ‘what?!’ And I ran to my daughter’s room to tell her we got to get out and I said, ‘I’ll get the dogs, you get the cats,’ but she didn’t get the cats,” the homeowner said.

Neighbors originally thought it was an explosion that took out the roof but authorities said that was not the case.

“I’m not sure what they meant by explosions. There was a fire in the back. We didn’t see no explosion,” said Lt. Terry Minerd of the Cahokia Volunteer Fire Department.

The falling roof may have made a noise, according to Minerd.

He added that the house is “a complete loss. The backside of the house is pretty much all gone. She had a porch area that had a hot tub, and all that is, it’s totally gone. The only thing that is left is the front of the house.”

The family is staying in a hotel with help from the American Red Cross. They do not when they’ll be able to come back to their home.

The family’s two cats and one hamster are missing.

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