SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – The Springfield Fire Department is investigating a suspected arson where two toddlers were rescued.
The fire broke out close to noon on Monday. It happened at Reservoir Street near North 15th Street.
“Our guys were called to that fire and they arrived and they found the front of the structure fully involved in fire,” Springfield Fire Chief Ed Canny said.
The Springfield Fire Department said there were three people inside the home when the fire broke out. One of them ran to get help.
“However, those people had gotten out safely,” Canny said.
It was thanks to the actions of a neighbor and a man who was traveling through the area. They went into the home to rescue two toddlers stuck inside.
“That’s wonderful,” Canny said. “We do not tell people to do that. We always tell people to get out of the house safely; however, anyone who does rescue people that are in danger of fire deserve to be commended for that. It’s very heroic and we’re glad that no one was injured.”
The department is still investigating the fire but believe it wasn’t an accident. They said they are considering it an arson case.
“Fire is very difficult for us to investigate, because a lot of our evidence is damaged by the fire; however, our investigators are well trained, and they know what to look for,” Canny said.
Due to the devastation the fire caused, the family has been displaced. The American Red Cross is working to help them.
“We’re looking at, they’ll have a place to stay, how do we get them into short term housing, so at least they have a place to lay their head,” Ari Denson, Senior Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross Illinois Region, said. “And then get that space from the disaster to start planning more and more long term plans. And those usually take place over days or weeks to really build.”
If anyone knows anything about the fire, the Springfield Fire Department is asking people to contact the Fire Safety Division at 217-789-2170.