The Cape Girardeau Fire Department received at 10:12 pm a call of a structure fire with an occupant still in the house. The first arriving unit reported smoke coming from basement, as well as the first and second floor.
A resident, later determined to be the owner/occupant, could be heard in the back of the house stating that someone was still in the basement. As fire crews arrived on the scene, a rescue team was directed to the rear outside basement entrance. Just prior to crews making entry, a male occupant appeared at the doorway and fell at the bottom of the outside basement steps. He was assisted to the top of the stairs and moved to the front of the house, where he was treated for smoke inhalation by Fire Department personnel, and later transported by ambulance to a local hospital.
A fire crew was able to enter the basement and contain and extinguish the fire. Other fire crews searched the first and second floor; no other individuals were found in the upper floors. Ladder 1 ventilated the structure.
While the entire structure suffered smoke damage, the extent of damage by fire was lessened by a nearby water line. A solder connection on the water line melted from the heat of the fire, allowing water to flow, thereby containing the fire. This melted solder connection nearly replicated the positive effect a residential sprinkler system would have on a home fire.
The area the fire started was in the basement, the exact cause of the fire in unknown; however it has been determine to be suspicious and is under investigation
Damage: Smoke only, moderate
Est. loss: $20,000
Injuries: 1 Adult
Smoke detectors alerted family: No