Fire Destroys Historic House

Fire Destroys Historic House
By:  Wes Wallace

An Tuesday afternoon fire rips through a Scott City house, leaving a family without a home, and community without a historic landmark.
"It's really a shame, I don't know what else to say it's just very sad," says Linda Stevens, a longtime Illmo resident, "I came up the sidewalk and saw smoke and then made sure it wasn't just someone burning something and called 9-1-1."
Stevens lives just across the street from the Noel family, and says the house fire is just a tremendous loss for them, "They've been working on it for twelve years now, remodeling and building on, they've done so much to make it look so nice."
What used to be the Noel's home, used to be the Illmo Christian Church decades ago. Some neighbors say the buildings been there for more than eighty years.
"I've been told it's just beautiful on the inside, with all the work they've done," says Gladys Smith, "I live just down the street and it's always so nice on the outside with all the flowers and landscaping and the porch that goes all the way around. Our hearts certainly go out to the family."
Dozens of firefighters from several departments responded to the fire, including Scott City, Cape Girardeau, New Hamburg-Benton-Commerce, Oran, Chaffee, and Delta. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Scott City Fire Chief Jay Cassout says it started in the kitchen and spread through the house very fast.
Several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. Besides the extreme weather conditions, fire crews also had to contend with a tin roof on the house, which made things harder, since it acted like a big heat trap inside.