Fire destroys rural Millstadt home - Republic-Times | News

Fire destroys rural Millstadt home

By on July 5, 2017 at 10:12 am

Pictured is the home on Floraville Road that was destroyed by an early Wednesday morning house fire. (Corey Saathoff photo)

Five departments responded to an early Wednesday morning house fire in rural Millstadt.

The Millstadt Fire Department received assistance from Columbia, Smithton, Hecker and Villa Hills in responding shortly before 5 a.m. to a fully involved structure fire at 6101 Floraville Road in rural St. Clair County. The Northwest Fire Department stood by at Millstadt’s engine house.

The Millstadt Police Department and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.

Flames were shooting through the roof of the large home upon firefighter arrival, Millstadt Fire Chief Kurt Pellman told the Republic-Times.

“It was pretty much a defensive battle for us from the start,” he said.

The home is a total loss, with the roof completely gone from the structure. Five people were inside when the flames broke out, but all escaped injury. The owner of the residence, Joli Hern, was not home, but her grandmother and other relatives were sleeping at the time. A responding police officer assisted Hern’s grandmother in safely exiting the home.

Pellman said one of the occupants apparently heard a window pop from the extreme heat of the fire and that woke them up. He added that smoke alarms were sounding inside upon arrival.

Either debris from fireworks or embers from a barbecue grill on the rear deck may be to blame for the blaze, Pellman said. The fire originated on the deck, which had burned down, and then flames spread to the back of the residence, he said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to raise funds in support of the family as it deals with the loss of its home and belongings. To view the page and contribute, click here.


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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.