Neighbors help to put out fire


EFFINGHAM, Ill. (WCIA) — The quick action of neighbors helped to prevent fire from burning through a house.

The fire started around 1:30 pm on Tuesday at a home on the corner of South Cherry and West Pells Street. Effingham Fire Chief Bob Tutko says the back of the home is charred from flames but the inside was untouched thanks to some good samaritans who spotted the fire. He says if they didn’t step in before crews got there, the damage could have been worse.

Hassan Hovis lives right next door to the house and saw it as the flames started to spark up. He says, “My buddy came rolling up in his car screaming “fire.” As soon as I looked outside I saw the house was on fire.“ He grabbed a hose, doused the flames and went inside to tell his neighbor that the back of the house was burning. “He had no idea what was going on until we ended up going inside.”

Nobody was hurt, but rather grateful that it didn’t destroy the home. Hovis said, “He just kept saying thank you you saved my life. But I wouldn’t necessarily call it saving a life by doing a good deed. Hopefully somebody would do that if someone drove by and saw there was a fire.”

Chief Tutko credits the neighbors for doing what they did in this case. He says, “Firefighting is dangerous because you don’t know what caused the fire but it’s nice that good samaritans came to the aid of their neighbors to help out in a situation like that and lock the fire down before we got there.”

The damage to the home was about $8,000. It was ruled accidental, caused by an electrical malfunction on an outside outlet.

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