Hurst, IL family loses home, belongings in house fire - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Hurst, IL family loses home, belongings in house fire

(Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS) (Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS)

A family lost their home and most of their belongings to a fire Friday night, September 30 in Hurst, Illinois.

Tammy Chamness said she was on her couch in the living room of her home on the 100 block of East Pulley Street in Hurst late Friday night.

Hurst is in northern Williamson County.

"I smelled the smoke and tried to figure out where it was coming from, but I couldn't, and had to leave because the smoke got so thick," Chamness said early Saturday, after watching her home burn into ruin.

It started around 11:00 p.m. on Friday.

"I ran out into the street and started screaming for help, I didn't know what else to do," Chamness said.

"When we showed up, much of the rear of the home was fully engulfed, so we called for mutual aid immediately," Hurst Assistant Fire Chief Tom Gottschalk said, after the six responding agencies managed to get the blaze under control.

"Everyone was able to exit the home, but unfortunately, we do believe one dog perished in the fire."

During the fire's peak strength, a nearby evergreen tree caught fire as well, but that blaze was contained by fire crews on scene.

Otherwise, the fire consumed much of the building, leaving the frame and a frail shell supporting the roof.

"We had to withdraw from within the home for a time while we fought the embers, for our own safety," Gottschalk said. "The roof was showing signs of collapse."

"Everything I've ever worked for is in there," Chamness said through tears. "I have no Idea what I'm going to do. My daughter's homecoming dress, my purse, everything."

"The home is a total loss," Gottschalk said. "We don't have any reason to believe foul play at this point, but the Fire Marshall will be investing a cause."

The Red Cross was in route early Saturday to help make accommodations for the family.

Details on any fund raising efforts the family establishes will be posted in this story should they become available.

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