ST. JOSEPH — Firefighters remain on the scene of a fire that has destroyed a duplex north of St. Joseph.
Firefighters were called about 11:37 a.m. to the 100 block of Chateau Drive, where flames and smoke were showing.
“It’s a duplex and both are on fire,” Champaign County sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Coile said from the scene.
“Both are occupied but the people are at work so no one is inside,” he said.
Minutes after their arrival, St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District firefighters asked for more help from several surrounding community fire departments both in the form of manpower and water.
Lt. Josh Reese said eight or nine fire departments responded to the fire due to the heat, including Homer, Ogden-Royal and Sidney. “A normal response is us and three others,” he said. “We called for a second alarm and got four or five additional trucks.” Reese said the 30 to 40 additional fire fighters would allow them to rotate out of the heat, keep the firefighters hydrated and keep them in air conditioning and shade. Reese said the duplex, at 201 and 202 Chateau Drive, was a total loss. The fire was still active at 1:20 p.m., with hot spots still in the buildings, Reese said. Reese said the focus is to cool the building down and extinguish all the hot spots. Reese said the roof had collapsed. Reese said there were no injuries reported to the residents or firefighters battling the blaze. Reese said a cause is not yet known and is under investigation. The Red Cross has been contacted to help the two families who lost their homes.