Assistant Chief: Fire started near space heater in home


CHARLESTON, Ill. — The Charleston Fire Department says it has learned new details about how a house fire started Wednesday.

Assistant Chief Tim Meister says investigators have narrowed down the point of origin to the bathroom on the first floor.

“It appears to be around the area of a space heater,” he says.

Crews responded to the blaze before 2 p.m. Wednesday at a house near Madison and 13th streets. The home sustained major damage.

WCIA reported a teenager was inside the home when he smelled smoke coming from the downstairs. He first got his dog, his mother and one of his brothers outside — but then went back in to help save his older brother, who was stuck in the burning home.

Charleston Police released body camera footage of Officer James Milton catching a resident who jumped from the building.

Chief Meister is reminding people to make sure people keep space heaters away from flammable objects in their homes.

WCIA has covered several fires in the past few months that investigators say involved space heaters: Springfield Firefighters knocked down a house fire earlier this month; and in February, crews in Rossville and Decatur responded to residential fires in their communities.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.